The mission of the Student Learning Outcomes Committee is to assist Imperial Valley College's campus community in the ongoing assessment of courses, programs, and services which lead to student success. (Standard II.a.2.b)
Campus assessment activities involve EVERYONE on campus - even students. In fact, if it weren't for students, we wouldn't be around at all! At Imperial Valley College, we want you - the student - to understand what we assess, how we assess, and what we do with the results. We invite you to explore this page and rest of the SLO website. And, as always, feel free to ask questions you may have.
What's an SLO? Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) focus on a core set of knowledge/skills/abilities that faculty feel a successful student will have at the end of the course. SLOs are written by the faculty and are assessed on a regular basis. The results are analyzed and used to help make changes that will improve student learning.
Where can I find the SLOs for a course? SLOs can be found on the course syllabus. They can also be found on the SLO Website.
Are SLOs and COURSE OBJECTIVES the same? No. SLOs are not the same as course objectives. Course objectives describe everything that will be covered in the course. SLOs focus on the core knowledge/skills/abilities.
How are SLOs assessed? SLOs are assessed in a variety of ways. Sometimes they may be part of a formal assessment, such as a test or a project. Sometimes they are assessed informally, such as through an exercise that you do in class. How an SLO is assessed is determined by faculty members.
Will this affect my grade? Not necessarily. It really depends on whether the faculty decides to do a formal assessment (a test or part of a test, a graded report or project) or an informal assessment (an exercise you do during class). What's most important, though, is looking to see how well you have attained the core set of knowledge/skills/abilities.
Is it going to mean more work, or another test/assignment for me? No! SLOs are typically integrated into assignments or tests that you are already taking.
Can I see the assessment results? Reports on outcomes are public documents and as such, you can ask to see them. Remember, though, that these reports focus on the overall success of the class(es) that are assessed, not on the achievements of students individually. In other words, looking at an SLO report (called at Cycle Assessment) will not tell you how you did personally in comparison to other students in the class(es) besides, student information (names, student ID numbers, etc.) is not included. If you are concerned about the results of an assessment or activity, your grade in the class, or your success with an identified outcome, it is best to talk to your instructor.
Institutional Learning Outcomes/General Education Learning Outcomes - What's this?
Imperial Valley College has decided that there are core life skills/abilities/knowledge that students should have upon leaving IVC. These are referred to as the "Big Five". They are:
Critical Thinking Skills
Each course at IVC focuses on at least one or two of these areas. If you are interested in seeing how these are applied to the general education degrees, certificates, and requirements at IVC, look at the SLO homepage under Program Learning Outcomes.
Is anything else assessed on campus? YES! Student success is important to everything that's done at IVC! Every department on campus assesses what they are doing to make sure students, and student learning, are being supported. For example, other areas that are assessed include the Library, Financial Aide, the Health Center, Campus Safety, and Maintenance.
A Quick SLO Glossary
Student Learning Outcome (SLO) – a set of core skills/abilities/knowledge that is assessed in a course.
Cycle Assessment – the report that is compiled and written after an SLO is assessed. It helps faculty to look what is working and what is not, and decide if any changes in a course should be made.
Assessment – a way of measuring student success in a particular area, or on a particular subject. Formal assessments include tests/exams, projects, and speeches, and are usually assigned a grade. Informal assessments, such as an activity, are usually ungraded.
Service Area Outcomes – the assessment non-academic areas, such as Counseling and the Business Office, to determine how they are making a positive impact on student success.
General Education Outcomes/Institutional Learning Outcomes – a set of skills/abilities/knowledge that the College feels is important for success as a student and in life. Also known as the "Big Five"
The "Big Five" - Critical Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Personal Responsibility, Information Literacy, Global Awareness.