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Student Learning Outcomes

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Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs): should answer two questions:

  1. What can students who successfully complete this course prove they know?
  2. What can students who successfully complete this course do?

The first essentially addresses course content, while the second addresses course skills. What should appear on the syllabus are the answers to these questions phrased in active, measurable verbs. For example, the statement "students who successfully complete this course will understand the basic theories of social organization" is not a valid outcome because it does not tell the student how that understanding will be measured. If "explain" or "identify" or "distinguish between" is substituted for "understand," a valid outcome is created, because those terms encapsulate measurable behaviors.

The department/program submitting the syllabus for the new/revised course may specify as many Student Learning Outcomes as it wishes. The SLOs may be organized in list or paragraph form. The preferred heading for this section of the syllabus is "Student Learning Outcomes." The department/program may choose another heading or omit a heading altogether, but the section should be offset from the paragraphs preceding and following it in the syllabus for clarity's sake.

If all sections of the course do not use a uniform syllabus, then the SLOs created by the department/program should be inserted into the individual syllabi used by instructors.

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