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Click on the question below to see the answer.

What does SACS stand for?
What does SLO stand for?
What are Learning Outcomes?
What can I use as measurement tools?

How many outcomes would be a good number?
How does the student learning outcomes differ from IR's two-year program objectives?
Will student learning outcomes be directly loaded into the tactical planning system (TPS)?
How will my outcomes be used?
Why can't I just use my grades to determine if they are learning?
I am already being accredited by my subject area accreditation, why do I have to do this one?
I don't like these outcomes, can I change them?
How many terms do I have to have my outcomes run?
My embedded test questions fall just beyond the due date of May, can I hold off and wait to submit my results?
Some of my classes were not offered this past semester and those objectives were not assessed, should I leave the boxes blank?
I am in the process of revamping the program, what do I do?
Why should I even bother assessing outcomes?

If you do not see your question listed here, please email me at adenny@hccfl.edu


What does SACS stand for?

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

What does SLO stand for?

Student Learning Outcomes

What are Learning Outcomes?

Traditionally, faculty have looked at teaching from the perspective of “this is what I am going to cover in a course” and then list items in their syllabi.  This reflects what is important to the instructor and gives the students ideas of what is important to the instructor.  What this approach does not tell us is what the students are expected to do with that knowledge.  Student Learning Outcomes switch the perspective from the instructor to the student.  It states what the student is supposed to know and be able to do by the end of the program.

What can I use as measurement tools?

You can use a variety of methods including, national surveys or exams, employer surveys, rubrics, student interviews, assessments (test questions), portfolios, employer interviews, and external judges.

How many outcomes would be a good number?

Although there is no exact number that can represents success for each program, the general guideline is that for a program, you would need 4 - 8 outcomes.

How does the student learning outcomes differ from IR's two-year program objectives?

SACS makes a distinction between outcomes and objectives.  The program objectives that you complete in TPS for the Strategic Planning and Analysis (SPA) Division are centered on your program, whereas the learning outcomes are centered on the students.  There are some that could be considered both.  For example, expanding faculty or adding purchasing equipment would be part of the program objectives.  In comparison, the students will use clinical decision-making skills using the nursing process is a student learning outcome.

It may be easier to start your outcomes with "At the completion of this program of study, the student will..."

Will student learning outcomes be directly loaded into the Tactical Planning System (TPS)?

Yes, your student learning outcomes will be automatically integrated into the IR's database.

How will my outcomes be used?

Your SLOs will be used to document the assessment of student learning. 

Why can't I just use my grades to determine if they are learning?

Grades are not a reliable measure of learning as they provide an overall summary of performance.  Different courses within the same department will grade differently.  The teachers will have different assignments, different grading rubrics, or different exams.  Some teachers will also include items such as attendance or participation to factor into the grades. 

 Student learning outcomes establish core competencies that students are expected to be learned.  These outcomes can be measured across the sections within the department.

I am already being accredited by my subject area accreditation, why do I have to do this one?

Your individual area is being accredited by that organization (i.e. COAMP, XX, XX, etc.), but the school of HCC is still being accredited as a whole by SACS.  And SACS outlines a specific review of all the programs that includes learning outcomes. 

To alleviate the work demanded by the accreditation agencies, we suggest that you keep your outcomes as closely aligned between the accrediting agencies as much as possible.

I don't like these outcomes, can I change them?

Yes, at the end of every year, new outcomes are added.  These can be the same as you had the previous year or they could be amended to change with your program and/or intentions. 

How many terms do I have to have my outcomes run?

You have to collect the data for the entire year; we have implemented a cut off of May.  Every May you will report the results that you collected from the previous summer, fall, and spring term.

My embedded test questions fall just beyond the due date of May, can I hold off and wait to submit my results?

No.  The student learning outcomes are done on a continuous basis, so enter the information that you compiled from the previous year.  The deadlines for the outcomes are in place so that the results can be inputted into the IR system.  From there it is inputted into the college planning system.  Failure to input your results will cause a delay in the subsequent reporting agencies. 

Some of my classes were not offered this past semester and those objectives were not assessed, should I leave the boxes blank?

Yes and no.  If you have made the Assessment Officer aware then you can follow that advice.  Otherwise, please enter some information into the box explaining the predicament of the course.   

I am in the process of revamping the program, what do I do?

Please contact the Academic Assessment Officer.

Why should I even bother assessing outcomes?

It shows evidence of how well students learn while documenting program improvement.