Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) at College of San Mateo - Assessment Toolkit - Part III: Documenting Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Assessment Toolkit - Part III: Documenting Learning Outcomes

What you will find here

Note: See also the "Resources" page for
  • narrated PowerPoints explaining assessment plans and Program Review
  • examples of assessment plans, etc.

What are assessment plans?

The Assessment Plan is an annual form outlining, briefly, the assessment priorities and activities planned for a given academic year.

Completing an annual Assessment Plan helps faculty keep track of what they are doing, ensuring continuity and follow-through.

Filing an Assessment Plan with the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Coordinator ensures that a record is always available, and can be recovered in the event of faculty turnover or departure.

Like TracDat, the Assessment Plan asks faculty to define their assessment goals, their method, their analysis and next steps. However, the format is easier to recover and does not require access to a password-protected site.

Example 1: Pilates Teacher Training Certificate

This assessment plan focuses on a specific certificate program, to see how well it achieves its objectives and how it might be improved.

Discipline Kinesiology / Athletics / Dance Enter department name here
(Aspect of) Program Pilates Teacher Training Certificate Focus on a certificate program
Research question(s)
  1. Are graduates finding employment post-graduation?  Do they graduate feeling ready to enter the workforce?
  2. Are/have graduates of the Pilates Certificate registering(ed) for other fitness certificates at CSM? Why? Which ones?
Identifies questions faculty have about the program
  1. A big part of a CTE program is preparing graduates for the workforce.  That is the ultimate SLO of the entire program.  If we are not preparing students properly to enter the workforce, we need to rethink the certificate curriculum.
  2. We have been working to create cross-pollenation between our certificate programs.  We would like to know if our efforts have been successful and how we can refine them.
Explains why this program or this question about the program, is worth pursuing
Method Since we are looking for data that is post-graduation, we will have to reach out to alumni.  We plan to send a survey to alumni via social media platforms, email and other communication networks that may be available.  We plan to use Google Forms because it can aggregate the data in a clear and easily understandable way for us. Lays out a brief sketch of what data faculty plan to collect, and how they plan to collect it
Next steps / Timeline We will most likely send this survey sometime during the 2019/2020 school year.  We plan to wait since we just did a survey with the Yoga Certificate alumni and do not want to bombard people if they are alumni of both programs. Lays out a brief plan or timeline for reference

Example 2: English composition sequence

This assessment plan focuses not on a degree or certificate program, but on one specific aspect of student learning in a discipline.

Discipline English  
(Aspect of) Program Composition sequence (program learning outcome #1 of the English AA-T) The first outcome for the English AA-T degree speaks to college reading and writing skills – i.e. the composition sequence skills
Research question(s) Do students leave our comp sequence confident in their key writing, reading and process skills? Where do they feel the most need for support? Which aspect of the curriculum needs support: reading, critical thinking, composition, sentence work?
Rationale While few students take the AA-T degree, the comp sequence is required. Faculty want to know how well our comp courses are serving students in key writing skills – and what students feel most confident in. Explains why the focus on the comp sequence
Method Survey administered to ENGL 110, 165  
Next steps / Timeline
  • Create survey Spring semester; administer to ENGL 110, 165 at end of term
  • Compile results; analysis at fall retreat (October)
  • Propose or pilot any curricular or pedagogcial changes in Spring / ready for Fall semester
This creates a rough schedule

Example: Student Services

Example: Learning Centers

The Assessment Calendar

The assessment calendar organizes assessment activities to fit the Program Review cycle.

Discipline/service assessment calendar:

Fall Determine scope, purpose and method of assessment
Complete & submit Assessment Plan
Launch assessment

In even years: Summarize assessment activities in Program Review
Spring Discuss and review results
Establish next steps to continue current assessment into fall, OR
Conclude assessment and start a new assessment in fall

What about TracDat?

Faculty are welcome to continue to record plans, data and analysis in TracDat. However, this is no longer required; Assessment Plans, on the other hand, *are* required.

What data should we keep?

Along with assessment plans, faculty should retain
  • any summary of data collected as part of the assessment process (i.e., Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, etc.)
  • any copies of particular instruments detailing the method of assessment (i.e., a survey, a quiz, a rubric, etc.)
  • documentation of discipline-level discussions over the activity (i.e., department minutes, summaries of norming sessions or other activities, etc.)

How should we document our assessment activities in Program Review?

Please see the "Assessment and Program Review" pages for details.