Tying Course Outcomes to Program Outcomes

Know thy PLO

As you prepare to write your Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), locate the program your course will sit in and support. Every Program has Learning Outcomes (PLOs) that your course will have to play a part in supporting.

You can find a Program’s set of Learning Outcomes by visiting SCC Assessment site.

When we look at the following chart, we can see the influence each set of learning outcomes exerts on the other.

Chart showing ILOs touching PLOs which touch SLOs

With the arrows on the left, we can see that the Institutional Level Outcomes influence a Program’s Learning Outcomes, which influences a course’s Student Learning Outcomes.

With the arrows on the right, we can see that a course’s Student Learning Outcomes supports and is contained by a Progam’s Learning Outcomes, which then supports and is contained within the Institutions Learning Outcomes.

Your course should serve a purpose and be designed to support a program’s learning outcomes. You do not have to support all of them, but there should be at least one that your course reinforces.

Mapping a Course Outcome to PLO

Every program is required to have each course within it mapped to its PLOs. Using the following score, faculty indicate the “degree” to which their course aligns to a Program’s Learning Outcomes.

  • 1 = Not at all
  • 2 = Minimally
  • 3 = Moderately
  • 4 = Extensively

The following is an example of a course mapped to the Early Childhood Development program outcomes (not listed here).

COURSE PLO 1 PLO 2 PLO 3 PLO 4 PLO 5
ECD 107 3 3 4 2 1

You’ll notice that ECD 107 meets the program’s Learning Outcome 3 pretty extensively. Therefore when designing the course, you would want to make sure you have a student learning outcome that helps support that program’s outcome. The data collected from the course could be used to help guide the program’s efforts in making sure students are getting the program competencies they need.

When designing a new course, this may seem a bit presumptive since your course is not developed. However, doing this process early may help steer your efforts in making sure you are designing a course that “fits” within the larger picture of your program.

Find PLOs

You can find a Program’s Learning Outcomes by visiting the SCC Assessment site.

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