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How to write Student Learning Outcomes

How to Write Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes are general statements about what it is a faculty member wants students to know, be able to do or value when they complete a particular course.  When writing SLOs, the Student Learning Outcomes Committee recommends:

  • Do not include a percentage in your SLO (i.e. 75% of students will be able to…) because it does not describe what a student will know, only how many you hope will know it.
  • Do not include an assessment method in your SLO because the same SLO may be assessed in a variety of ways by different faculty.
  • It is better to write several SLO’s for a course rather than include several skills or areas of knowledge in one SLO.  You will only be asked to assess one SLO per course per year.

Examples of SLOs that follow these guidelines:

  • At the conclusion of Math 60, students will be able to create, analyze, and interpret linear models of real world applications.
  • At the conclusion of Geography 101, students will know the major landscape shaping processes and how they modify the earth’s physical landscape.
  • At the conclusion of English 52, students will be able to use a writing process to write a complete essay.
  • Students will understand the importance of making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to maintain financial aid eligibility.

Examples of sets of SLOs covering an entire course:

At the conclusion of ESL-3, students will be able to:

  1. Write passages that demonstrate correct grammar and organization.
  2. Identify the grammatical structure of a simple and complex sentence.
  3. Produce appropriate and grammatically correct verbal expressions.

At the conclusion of Reading 42, students will be able to:

  1. Understand relationships between letters and their sound.
  2. Use word parts and context clues to understand the meaning of a word.
  3. Use a dictionary entry to find relevant information about words.
  4. Find the stated main idea in the paragraph.
  5. Distinguish between major and supporting details in a paragraph.


Still confused?  For a more extensive discussion of SLOs, visit this page for an explantion . Or contact an SLO Committee member from your area (List available) OR contact Frank Mixson, the SLO Committee chair (x2820) OR  contact Jan Connal, SLO coordinator (x2143) OR contact Chris Myers, Director of Research and Planning (2193) OR come to one of the SLO Committee meetings and all 23 of us will do our best to help you out.

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Last Update: 2/20/2018