This is a navigation button. Understanding Assessment
This is a navigation button. The Assessment Cycle
This is a navigation button. Planning An Assessment Cycle
This is a navigation button. Institutional Student Learning Outcomes
This is a navigation button. Student Learning Outcomes
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Home > Planning An Assessment Cycle

PLANNING AN ASSESSMENT CYCLE

Discipline, student service area and administrative unit outcomes assessment cycles should follow their Comprehensive Program Review cycles.
  • The Academic Comprehensive Program Review cycle is every three (3) years.
  • The Administrative Unit Comprehensive Program Review cycle is every six (6) years.
Not every single outcome must be measured every single semester or year. Disciplines, student service areas, and administrative units can choose how to space out their assessments of outcomes between Comprehensive Program Review Cycles.
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According to Southwestern College’s Procedures 4350, there are two guidelines to follow when designing outcomes assessment work plans.
  1. Disciplines, student service areas and administrative units should participate in the assessment process every year.

  2. Every year disciplines, student service areas and administrative units should update their outcome assessment work plans and outcomes assessment progress in Program Review.
To organize outcomes assessment work plans all disciplines, student service areas and administrative units should complete the Outcomes Assessment TimelineThis timeline is part of the Program Review Snapshot and should be reviewed and updated each year.

Learning outcomes are simply goals. They state, specifically, the ends of a process (rather than the means) that should be met.

In academics there exists a gap between what students are taught and what students can do with what they have learned. Student learning outcomes attempt to bridge this gap by placing more focus on what students can do with information learned once they leave the classroom, campus service area or college after graduation rather than on the completion of specific objectives.

Learning outcomes measure “the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits of mind that students have and take with them when they successfully complete a course or program” (Suskie, p. 23).
Learning outcomes “identify what students should demonstrate, represent, or produce because of what and how they have learned” (Maki, p. 89).

What is the difference between outcomes and objectives? Unfortunately these terms are used inconsistently in the literature, and many use the terms interchangeably. Some objectives are written in outcome language (as is required in Course Outlines of Record at SWC). It can be confusing. One way of understanding the difference is this:

Outcomes Objectives
  • State what students will be able to do with what they learn
  • Provide evidence of skills students have actually learned
  • State and list what student should learn
  • State and list what students will be taught

Outcomes are achieved when students can demonstrate that they have mastered what was learned through testing, performance, or other means.

At Southwestern College, there are several types of outcomes that need to be assessed:
At the top of the hierarchy is Institutional Student Learning Outcomes. All outcomes must link directly to one of the ISLOs at Southwestern College.

Our college community creates a complete learning environment that facilitates student success. Student success does not only occur in a classroom. CSLOs, PSLOs and AUOs all work in tandem to help students achieve ISLOs by the time they graduate or transfer from Southwestern College.
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