[curriclulum] Agenda item for meeting: goal one rewrite and iSLOs

I recently presented the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan (SLOAP) to the assessment committee. The plan calls for either a rewriting of goal one as approved by the board last September, or, alternately, keeping that goal and adding the rewritten goal one as an additional goal. The plan also calls for the adoption of institutional student learning outcomes that connect the goal to the program student learning outcomes. The assessment committee cleared the presentation of the plan at the system-wide conference next week, and the president is working on a tentative schedule that might see the plan presented on Tuesday morning.

I would like the curriculum committee to have a look at the proposed rewrite of goal one and the institutional student learning outcomes, comment on both, and indicate whether the curriculum committee would also endorse these items:

Goal one:
Promote learning and teaching for knowledge, skills, creativity, intellect, and the abilities to analyze new information and communicate effectively.

Institutional student learning outcomes:

iSLO# Category Students will be able to...
1 knowledge define, describe, demonstrate, and explain knowledge within a field of study.
2 skills apply, use, perform, exhibit, and demonstrate skills required of a particular career or field of endeavor.
3 creativity plan, design, develop, seek, find, synthesize, and create solutions, strategies, documents, and products.
4 intellect exhibit the capacity for independent thought and critical thinking.
5 communication communicate effectively through writing, speaking, performing, exhibiting, or other forms of expression.
6 analysis acquire, interpret, analyze, assess, and evaluate information.

I would note that the SLOAP centers on and addresses only learning and aims to put learning at the core of instructional affairs. This does not mean that there is not a need to develop teaching objectives to serve the "teaching" in "promote learning and teaching for..." Any one goal can be served by a variety of objectives. Certainly there is a need, in order to "promote teaching" to provide faculty and staff development, facilities, and other teaching support services. The SLOAP does not intend to directly address anything beyond learning.

Due to Barr and Tagg 1995, I feel I should note that conceptually I do differ from those who feel that an institution can be defined solely by learning. While Barr and Tagg note that "payroll clerks...will... empower student learning", my own hope is that payroll clerks will produce the payroll on time.1 Thus I personally allow for the existence of objectives beyond learning, including objective in a "teaching paradigm" and not solely in a "learning paradigm." That said, SLOAP is wholly in the learning paradigm.

The presentation on SLOAP can be viewed at:

Explanation of the development of SLOAP and details "underneath the hood" of the plan are available at:

1 I have other differences with the learning paradigm. I conceive of education as a learning opportunity, the learning paradigm in its purist form sees learning as a mandatory and necessary outcome. The learning paradigm seems to hold the tenet that education should be like unto a visit to an auto mechanic: If you bring your car in, your car will be fixed. The learning paradigm appears to hold to the theory that if you bring your body, you will learn or the learning institution will keep adjusting things until the institution can guarantee learning. The catch is that the learning paradigm neglects the impact of free will - cars exert no choice. Students are not objects. Learning can never be guaranteed. In adopting a view that sees an institution as more than a learning organization, one develops a broader view of the roles an institution plays. In the post-learning paradigm era learning and its assessment will be at the core of an institution, but it will not be the sum total of everything that is the institution.