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Student Learning Outcome Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What's a Student Learning Outcome?

    A Student Learning Outcome (SLO) is the broad term to describe the campus endeavor towards improving student learning. SLOs tell students what they will know or be able to do at the end of each stage of their studies (e.g., courses, programs)

  • What's a Course Learning Outcome and where can I find them?

    A Course Learning Outcome (CLO) tells students what they will know or be able to do at the end of a course. A CLO describes the knowledge, skills or abilities that students should gain by the end of a course. CLOs focus on "big picture" items; they should help to describe how the course curriculum functions together.

    CLOs are required to appear on the course syllabus. You will see them listed under "Course Learning Outcomes" or "Student Learning Outcomes." Feel free to ask your instructor about them. You can also access a list of active CLOs for your courses here.

  • Do I need to know the CLOs for my course?

    Yes because CLOs are a good indicator of what faculty teaching the course think it is important for you to learn. However, since CLOs focus on the big picture, they may not help you with studying specific chapters or for specific exams. Make sure you understand what the CLOs are at the beginning of the course because they should help you set goals for what you will learn. Throughout the course, you should also consider how what you are learning will contribute to each CLO.

  • Will CLOs mean more work or another test or assignment for me?

    It probably won't mean more work for you. The faculty decide what the assessments will be and when they will be given. Some faculty may use a current assignment in the course as the assessment or they may create an assignment that will be embedded into the course. You may or may not know what's being used as the CLO assessment.

    Also, the assignments used for CLO assessment will probably be looked at or assessed for other qualities than how the instructor grades the assignment. For example, you might be asked to write a research paper that is given an overall grade as part of the course but your instructor might also look at it to see how well he or she taught research skills. As another example, you might be asked to solve a problem for which your grade focuses on getting the right answer, but your instructor will look at it to see how well he or she taught a specific procedure or thought process.

  • What are CLO assessment results used for?

    The assessments are designed to help faculty understand how well their students in their courses are learning. It helps faculty determine where they can make instructional improvement. Usually, assessment information will be collected anonymously to look at students as a whole group rather than as individuals. Often, the assessment for the CLO takes place at the end of the semester.

  • Who can I talk to about CLOs?

    If you have questions about this process, you can talk to your instructors, department chairs, or members of the Learning Assessment Team in G1-104 or at 323-415-5025.

  • What's LAC?

    LAC stands for the Learning Assessment Committee. This committee is made up of the Learning Assessment Facilitators, faculty from each department, student service professionals, and administrators. The LAC works to guide the campus through the learning outcomes assessment process and to create policy to ensure the process is a smooth one.