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Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning Student Learning Outcomes

Developing Program-level Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes (SLOs) represent core skills and knowledge students should develop through a program of study.

Questions which learning outcomes address include:
  • What knowledge, skills, abilities and dispositions should the ideal student graduating from the program demonstrate?
  • How will they be able to demonstrate these capacities?
Learning outcomes should include:

1) an action verb that clearly identifies the concrete skill(s) to be demonstrated, and 2) a statement that specifies what learning students must develop and apply. Below are some examples.

  • The student will analyze experimental results and draw reasonable conclusions from them.
  • The student will effectively evaluate research designs, methods, and conclusions.
  • The student will collect, interpret, and analyze financial data to support effective decision-making in corporate and investment environments.
Good program-level learning outcomes statements:
  • focus on key skills, knowledge, and/or abilities for success in the discipline or related fields/careers
  • are observable and concrete
  • are measurable
  • describe specific behaviors that a student should demonstrate after completing the program
  • are vetted by an advisory board or align with standards of a professional organization or specialized accreditation
  • avoid unclear terms and are easily understood by faculty, students, accreditors and the general public
  • align with WSU’s Seven Learning Goals of Undergraduate Education
  • are approved (informally or formally) by the program’s instructional faculty
  • are available to students