Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) at College of San Mateo - Collecting and Submitting Information on SLO data, Fall 2017
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Collecting and Submitting Information on SLO data, Fall 2017

As you probably know, we are asking instructional faculty to have a go at collecting SLO data this semester:
  • On most or all students (try for at least one section in each prep)
  • Assigning each student a score in each SLO between 1-5
  • Submitting the results to ASLT
Resources FAQs
  • "I've looked over your presentation, but literally NONE of this will work for me - it would take hours"
    Okay! That's exactly the kind of thing I need to know. Please tell me.

  • "Are you saying we have to do this, or just that you'd like us to do this?"
    Well. No one will dock your wages if you don’t participate. But most of us have to submit at least some data this semester anyway. And – if you don’t, you will lose the chance to practice, and thus troubleshoot, what might become a college-wide routine.

  • "Do we really have to do all our courses? Can't we just pick one?"
    Ideally, if you are collecting SLO data through some very painless method (as outlined in the presentation), it shouldn’t make too much difference. But if it helps, yes, by all means, collect data from each prep, rather than each course.

  • "This isn't assessment! This is just compliance."
    Correct. This is not about assessment. Assessment is a far more interesting and specific activity, focusing on particular questions or problems, and generally including lots of qualitative, small-scale data – the kind of thing you might get from participating in a faculty inquiry group; from working on with colleagues in flex or department meetings; or from preparing Program Review, which is intended as a summary of, amongst other things, our self-assessment. This is also about compliance. Whether or not an SLO data pool adds much to our other data pools, especially course grades, is highly debatable. However, what is not debatable is that accreditation mandates require that we establish, maintain, and regularly draw on this data pool.

  • "This data is stupid."
    No it isn’t. As you see in the presentation, you are using embedded course assignments or quizzes – instruments that we use all the time to gauge student learning. They may not always be terribly precise, and the data pool will likely be somewhat noisy, but this is almost always true (it’s certainly true of grades). Student surveys, too, while they don’t gauge learning, do tell us how students feel about their learning, which can be useful information.

  • "Who's going to look at this?"
    You are – as well as IPC, and accreditation committees – in Program Review.

  • "What if I get stuck of this starts to get out of hand?"
    Tell me! Email me at, and I’ll come round or call up and we’ll sort it out.

  • "Can you help me with any of this?"
    Absolutely. I can help you create rubrics, align assignments, create surveys, or whatever you like. Just let me know.