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SLO Assessment Cycle & Department Assessment Plan (DAP)

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Assessment is an ongoing process, which is managed by the Student Learning Outcome Assessment Cycle (SLOAC).  The following graphic outlines the department chair's responsibilities concerning SLO assessment and creating a Department Assessment Plan (DAP):

  1. Meet with faculty to create a DAP
  2. Notify faculty of course-level SLO assessment
  3. Monitor the course-level assessment process
  4. Close the "loop" by discussing assessment results

Student Learning Outcome Assessment Cycle (SLOAC) diagram

Creating a DAP

As part of Program Review, departments determine which courses should be assessed and when those courses will be assessed during the Student Learning Outcome Assessment Cycle.  Then, the department chairs create a Department Assessment Plan (DAP) that identifies the timing of those assessments.  This process works best when course coordinators and faculty are involved.

DAPs include the following information:

  • Course Number
  • Course Name
  • Date of Last Assessment
  • The percentage of outcomes that were assessed
  • Date of Next Assessment
  • How results are being used for improvements

For the cycle ending spring 2017, departments submitted their DAPs by sending a hard or soft (electronic) copy to the SLO Coordinators (see Sample DAP below).  Starting fall 2017, however, we will use eLumen to facilitate this process.

Exhibit: Sample DAP

Course Number

Course Name

Date of Last Assessment

Have all outcomes for this course been assessed?

Date of Next Assessment (All Cycle 2 Assessments to be completed by Spring 2017)

How are results being used for improvements? Please specify the general area of improvement from the list below.

ADM JUS 002

Concepts of Criminal Law

11/2/2012

Yes

fall 2015

Best practices are shared among all instructors within the discipline

ADM JUS 003

Legal Aspects of Evidence

3/5/2012

Yes

fall 2015

Assessment results are discussed at all department meetings

ADM JUS 004

Principles and Procedures of the Justice System

3/5/2012

Yes

fall 2015

Assessment results are discussed at all department meetings

ADM JUS 014

Report Writing for Peace Officers

Archived 11/28/2012

 

 

 

ADM JUS 024

Introduction to Counseling

Archived 11/28/2012

 

 

 

 

Notify Faculty of SLO Assessment Deadlines

An assessment is created in eLumen for each course that we offer.  Before faculty members can enter assessment data and complete a Reflection for the course, the Department Chair or Course Coordinator must "distribute" the assessment to all of the sections of the course for the specific term during which the assessment will occur. The "distribution" is done in eLumen.  See "How to Distribute Assessments" under "Notes & Instructional Videos for Department Chairs" on the OAC eLumen webpage.

Afterwards, department chairs must also notify the appropriate faculty that they have to complete Course-level SLO (CSLO) assessments and complete a Reflection for each course that is being assessed.

Monitor the CSLO Assessment Process 

The instructors of each course that is due for assessment are responsible for completing a CSLO assessment process. (For more information, see the "Course-Level SLO Assessment Process" section of this manual).  However, monitoring the process is done at the department level by the Chair, Vice Chair, or Course Coordinators.

See "How to use the Faculty Participation & Reflections Reports" on the OAC eLumen webpage for more information about monitoring the completion of course-level assessment data input and Reflections.

Close the Loop by Discussing Assessment Results

The ultimate goal of SLO assessment is to use assessment results to improve the curriculum and improve pedagogy.  The Student Learning Outcome Assessment Cycle ends when faculty collect, discuss and analyze the assessment data.  Out of this analysis and discussion come suggestions for improvement. The faculty then need to develop, modify, or revise curriculum, pedagogy, courses, programs or services. Another possible revision is to the outcome statement or assessment tool itself. And then the cycle begins again.

This process starts by reviewing the Reflections, which enables departments to answer two main questions:

  1.  Are we using the correct assessment tool?
     
  2.  Are we providing specific information that indicates a need to revise our curriculum, pedagogy, or to obtain other resources?

Are we using the correct assessment tool?

Exhibit 1 below shows that an incorrect assessment tool was used for the assessment (see the "Course-Level SLO Assessment Process" section of this manual).  Instead of choosing one essay, a summary of readings, or an analysis of readings, the instructor used a total of all essays, summaries of readings, and analyses of readings, which indicates that the instructor doesn't have a clear understanding of the difference between grading and SLO assessment.

Exhibit 1: Reflection indicating incorrect assessment tool but useful recommendation (Note: While the language in this exhibit derives from eLumen, the format has been modified for accessibility.)


Course: ENGLISH028 – INTERMEDIATE READING AND COMPOSITION
Organization: English
Date: 6/2/2016
Activity: ENGLISH 028 – Activity

Describe the assessment (e.g., student essay, performance, etc.) used to evaluate the SLO(s):

Student essays, summaries of readings, analyses of readings.

Describe the results of the assessment and your analysis of what these results mean.

The overwhelming majority of my students have jobs. Many have family responsibilities as well. They are continually fighting time constraints. Partly as a result of that, they do not do their best work. Most come poorly prepared, with very limited vocabularies. How can they be expected to read well if they do not know the words?

List recommendations for improvement. Is student performance satisfactory? If not, how might student performance be improved?

I do not believe that overall student performance is satisfactory. I would do away with 3-hour classes. You cannot teach incrementally in such large time chunks. They cannot digest it all. They tend to forget, very quickly, much of what they appear to have learned. The more repetition and review we can do, the better. I believe that a 3-credit course should be taught in two 1-1/2 hour sessions, possibly even in 3 one-hours. I realize that this goes against certain scheduling practicalities, but this reflection has to do with learning.


Exhibit 2 below shows that a correct assessment tool was used for the assessment: a 450-word essay.  In addition, the instructor provides a specific and actionable recommendation: The placement assessment process needs to be improved for ESL students.

Exhibit 2: Reflection indicating correct assessment tool and useful recommendation (Note: While the language in this exhibit derives from eLumen, the format has been modified for accessibility.)


Course: ENGLISH028 – INTERMEDIATE READING AND COMPOSITION
Organization: English
Date: 6/2/2016
Activity: ENGLISH 028 – Activity

Describe the assessment (e.g., student essay, performance, etc.) used to evaluate the SLO(s):

A 450-word essay was assigned using a textbook article requiring both an objective and subjective response.

Describe the results of the assessment and your analysis of what these results mean.

The results showed that out of 25 students assessed, 9 excelled with a score of 8. The breakdown continues: Score of 7=2 students, score of 6=6 students, score of 5=6 students, score of 4=2 students. These scores reflect skill improvements (reading/writing) accomplished by English 28 students by semester end.

List recommendations for improvement. Is student performance satisfactory? If not, how might student performance be improved?

Students always improve by reading short articles or short fiction and then by learning how to critically analyze these materials. Where skill improvement problems arise, is when ESL students have been placed in English 28. The ESL program at LAVC excels in enabling students with English as their 2nd language to develop academic English reading and writing skills. At the admissions assessment step, these students should be recognized before sending them on to classes that they are not yet ready to take.


Are we providing specific information that indicates a need to revise our curriculum, pedagogy, or to obtain other resources?

The recommendations in both Exhibits are specific and actionable: 3-unit courses should meet twice a week instead of once a week, and the admissions assessment process should recognize and place ESL students in the ESL Program instead of the English Program.  Based on these recommendations, the department could hold a department meeting to discuss:

  1. Appropriate assessment tools.
     
  2. The benefits of having a 3-unit course meet twice a week, and determine the effective date of such a change.
     
  3.  How to address their concerns to Student Services (the service unit that administers the placement assessment) and come to an agreement on when or if the placement assessment process could be altered.
     

By understanding each step of the Student Learning Outcome Assessment Cycle, it is possible for each department to yield the many benefits for improvement that it offers.