Newsletter January 2018

Outstanding Outcomes

Purpose of the Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of Outstanding Outcomes! This monthly newsletter will highlight some of the terrific outcomes assessment practices going on across the Clovis Community College campus as well as provide you with some knowledge and best practices about outcomes to help you pull the best out of our wonderful CCC students.

Alphabet Soup

Here is a quick-glance guide for the main outcomes acronyms:

  • SLOs – Student Learning Outcomes, instructional outcomes at the course level
  • SUOs – Service Unit Outcomes, learning outcomes at the student services level
  • PLOs – Program Learning Outcomes, instructional outcomes at the degree/certificate level
  • GELOs – General Education Learning Outcomes, learning outcomes at the institutional level

What is an “Outcome?”

You may have heard this educational jargon word in department or opening day meetings but are not sure what it really means. You may have also heard the alphabet soup of SLOs, SUOs, PLOs, or GELOs. All of these are various forms of “outcomes,” and various editions of this newsletter will highlight these forms. In short, however, outcomes are the overarching skills and knowledge we want to give our students at the course, service, program, and institutional levels.

How to get help

Are your course-level SLOs truly reflective of what you want your students to learn? Or, would you like help designing effective measurements of your SLOs to see what your students have truly learned? Contact: or x.5322

What is the overall goal you want students who use your student services to reach (SUOs)? Or, do you need help measuring the effectiveness of your area’s services?
Contact: or x.5220

Anna and Erica

Your outcomes guides at CCC:

Erica Johnson, Service Unit Outcomes (SUO) Coordinator & Counselor

Anna Martinez, Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Coordinator & Communication Instructor

SLO Superstars

The English faculty began doing a creative and useful form of SLO assessment in 2017. The approach involved a pre and post-test comparison to assess an outcome in English 125. The pre and post-test method is a great way to determine whether instruction is truly making a difference in student learning. Faculty performed a pre-test by week 2 of the semester and a post-test after week 12. The students actually collected and reported the data on their own reporting sheet, saving faculty a little work in the process while giving students involvement in their own improvement.

English Faculty hard at work

English instructors were free to use whatever essay prompts they wished for the pre and post-tests. The pre-test was purely diagnostic, based on a simple essay to provide a baseline for SLO attainment. They designed the post-test to be a gauge of approximately the fourth essay of the semester. Each time, the assessment measured the following:

  • Word count
  • Sentence count
  • Coordinating conjunctions count
  • Subordinating conjunctions count
  • Conjunctives adverbs count

Students kept track of their results on a grid and received instructions on how to find these results in Word:

Example of a pre-test and post-test chart

When the semester was complete and results were available, instructors convened to discuss the process and results. They discovered that students did not necessarily improve in sentence structure over the semester as they had hoped. They also discovered that students’ willingness to complete the grids above seemed to serve as a litmus test for student preparedness for course completion. Discussion of this assessment led faculty to consider ways to modify grammar lessons in class (i.e. smaller lessons on conjunctive adverbs). They were also able to find modifications to the assessment itself to make it run more smoothly in the future.

For questions on this excellent assessment method, contact Jaclyn Rowley at or x. 5370.