San Diego Miramar College has established several user guides for the development of SLO assessment activities and for the collection of SLO assessment data using the Taskstream Accountability Management System:
- Guide to Writing Program SLOs
- Instruction Guide for Course Assessment Plans using Taskstream
- Instruction Guide for Program Assessment Plans using Taskstream
- Instruction Guide for Program Review using Taskstream (updated 2016)
- Taskstream Account Access and Affiliation Guidelines
- Link to Taskstream Website
In addition, there are State and national resources to help faculty and staff with the development of their assessment plans and to provide a holistic picture of how outcomes and assessment are being used to improve student learning and success across the nation:
- National Institute for Learning Outcome Assessment (NILOA)
Established in 2008, the mission of NILOA is to discover and disseminate ways that academic programs and institutions can productively use assessment data internally to inform and strengthen undergraduate education, and externally to communicate with policy makers, families and other stakeholders.
NILOA assists institutions and others in discovering and adopting promising practices in the assessment of college student learning outcomes. Documenting what students learn, know and can do is of growing interest to colleges and universities, accrediting groups, higher education associations, foundations and others beyond campus, including students, their families, employers, and policy makers.
- Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U's) Liberal Education and American's Promise (LEAP)
Launched in 2005, Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) is a national public advocacy and campus action initiative of the Association of American Colleges&Universities (AAC&U). LEAP champions the importance of a twenty-first-century liberal education—for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality.
LEAP responds to the changing demands of the twenty-first century—demands for more college-educated workers and more engaged and informed citizens. Today, and in the years to come, college graduates need higher levels of learning and knowledge as well as strong intellectual and practical skills to navigate this more demanding environment successfully and responsibly.
Through LEAP, hundreds of campuses are making far-reaching educational changes to help all their students—whatever their chosen field of study—acquire the broad knowledge, higher order capacities, and real world experience they need to thrive both in the economy and in a globally engaged democracy.
- Academic Senate of California Community Colleges (ASCCC's) Guiding Principles for SLO Assessment
The assessment of student learning outcomes (SLOs) is a curricular activity that can be both beneficial and productive. Faculty who engage in SLO development and assessment can acquire concrete evidence upon which to base the collegial review of their programs and the improvement and enhancement of student learning both in individual classes and across a program. If SLO processes are integrated into the culture of the college, the use of assessment data as a basis for decision making can empower the faculty voice in planning and budgeting discussions.
Despite these potential benefits from SLO activities, many California community colleges have struggled to develop and implement effective assessment processes. Pressure from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and its 2012 deadline for SLO proficiency has further complicated this issue, causing many colleges and faculty to think of SLO assessment only as a quantitative task to complete for accreditation purposes rather than focusing on the quality of their assessment activities. In spring 2008, Academic Senate Resolution 2.03 called for providing guidance regarding best practices in SLO assessment that could be applied at the local college level. This paper is a response to that resolution.
The goal of this paper is to suggest principles that will help faculty to develop efficient and effective SLO assessment practices as appropriate for their own local colleges. These principles address various aspects of SLO assessment and factors that influence assessment processes, including institutional support, cooperative relationships with other faculty, researchers, and administrations, and alignment of outcomes throughout the different levels of the college curriculum. Above all, the paper promotes and emphasizes the primary role of faculty in all SLO development and assessment activities and the importance of faculty participation and involvement in the development and implementation of assessment processes.