For the assessment of student learning outcomes, the VFA will encourage the use of a nationally benchmarked measure of learning. As we enter the pilot phase, we will be providing pilot sites with:
- A listing of existing nationally benchmarked measures of student learning outcomes and the information on using these assessment instruments including what they measure and how they are administered.
- A mechanism to report other data on nationally normed instruments that measure institutional efficacy.
- A format for colleges to provide links to or submit their institutional materials and local assessments of SLOs.
Simultaneously, the VFA will issue a challenge to the field to develop SLO assessments that meet criteria of relevance to community colleges and their unique student populations.
The criteria that will be used to challenge the test developers are yet to be formalized. As a starting point, though, the VFA’s SLO Working Group identified the following broad areas of learning as appropriate outcomes for community colleges to measure:
- Analytical reasoning and critical thinking
- Communication (ability to speak, read, write, and listen)
- Innovative and creative thinking
- Quantitative literacy
- Information literacy
- Teamwork and collaborative skills
- Global Understanding and citizenship
- Content/career specific skills and knowledge
More research is needed to determine if, to begin, these are the learning outcomes that are most appropriate to our institutions and, if so, what assessments can be developed so that they can be examined across our colleges.