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what are student learning outcomes?

Student Learning Outcomes or SLO's are statements of observable and measurable student performance which provide the foundation for the assessment of student learning. "Students will be able to ..." They define what a student will be able to do at the end of a learning activity, course, or program.


  1. What are Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

A Student Learning Outcome is a brief statement of what a student will know and be able to do. A Student learning Outcomes can be at the Course Level or Program Level.

Course level outcomes: what students know and can do at the end of   the course

Program level outcomes: the aggregate knowledge and skills of the entire degree program


  1. I understand course level Student Learning Outcomes, I have them on my syllabi, but why do we need program level outcomes?

Degree program level outcomes are needed so that everyone is aware of what students will know and be able to do by the end of the degree program.


  1. Who identifies (develops) the student learning outcomes?

The faculty who are responsible for a program and or the instructors who teach courses in the program. SLO's should be approved by all faculty members in the program as well as the academic division's supervisor.


  1. How many SLO’s need to be identified. 

Three to five outcomes are recommended. No more than five outcomes are recommended unless you are under an accredited professional program which may require more.


  1. What is the process for deciding on SLO’s for the degree program?

The faculty decide the SLO's. Most faculty identify with their individual courses or their specialty so it takes a unified effort to identify knowledge and skills students should develop over the span of a program. Faculty can complete this process over several faculty meetings.

Students, alumni, advisory committees, and community members can also be a benefit in discussing SLO's.


  1. What can we do with the SLO’s outcomes once they are decided on.

You can post them on your department webpage, college catalog, and promotional materials. AWC uses Tk20 to document yearly progress on student learning outcomes assessments.

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