Student Learning Assessment

Ensuring that our students grow as learners is one of the most important responsibilities we have. By continually examining, questioning and improving the effectiveness of instruction, we ensure and maintain quality in our courses and programs and support our own growth and development as professional educators.

Assessing student learning outcomes is a purposeful, systematic, evidence-based process through which we create the best conditions for learning, share and encourage best practices, and inspire creativity and innovation.

Student learning assessment is challenging, but analyzing and discussing student learning can be some of the most inspiring and fulfilling activities in which we participate. Student success is our passion, and a well-designed, ongoing assessment process enriches both the teacher and the learner.

Course Learning Assessment

Course-level student learning outcomes (SLOs) reflect the knowledge, skills and abilities that students have attained as a result of participating in each course.

Where are they located:

Course outline approved by the College’s Curriculum Committee and on the course syllabi. If applicable, the course outline also maps SLOs to general education learning outcomes addressed by the course. Department SLO assessment activities are reported on the Annual Assessment Report. SLOs for each course are assessed at least once every five years.

Writing and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes: 

The Guidebook for New Course and Outline Revision Approval provides detail as to how to write a student learning outcome, evaluate the quality of a student learning outcome and map student learning outcomes to general education outcomes. Two important questions this guide recommends asking when evaluating a student learning outcome include: "Can it be measured?” and “Is learning demonstrated?”

Related Resources: 

  • Writing Student Outcomes - This document compiles additional details about writing quality student learning outcomes.
  • Classroom Assessment Techniques - University of Southern California describes classroom assessment as a formative rather than a summative approach to assessment that is used for the purpose of improving the quality of student learning, not providing evidence for evaluating or grading students. This document provides further detail about when and why we would utilize classroom assessment techniques and elaborates on 10 specific techniques that provide a starting point for developing an adequate and relevant assessment.
  • Developing Rubrics - Cornell University describes a rubric as a type of scoring guide that helps instructors consistently assess and articulate specific components and expectations for an assignment. 

Faculty resources

The Assessment team has compiled a resource site on Moodle that provides a handbook for assessment, links to research and other high-impact practices, explanations of types of assessments and writing outcomes, and much more. 

Assessment Resources (Moodle)



For more information, contact the following assessment coaches:  
Technology, Applied Science and Public Services
Dawn Hendricks
Office: C-150
Arts and Science
Alice Lewis
Office: N-150
Acadamic Foundations and Connections
Dave Mount
Office: RR-237

Program Learning Assessment

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that students have attained as a result of participating in the educational experiences within a program. These summarize what students are able to do as a result of the experience in each program. Program learning outcomes for degree and certificate programs are published in the college catalog.

PLOs reflect the cumulative effect of the collection of learning experiences that make up the program. While assessments of student learning in individual courses gives us an idea of the performance of an individual student, concentrating on the collective performance of students in the program provides valuable information for the department to use in improving courses, programs and services.

Analysis of PLO data is a required part of the formal program review for instructional programs, which occurs on a three-year cycle as discussed on the program.

Writing Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes

Note that while Student Learning Outcomes are defined in greater detail within the Course Learning Assessment page, below are three resources that are useful to gain a better understanding of how to develop well-written Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes in particular.

Mapping Curriculum - Course-Level Outcomes to Program-Level Outcomes

Mapping Curriculum - Course-Level Outcomes to Program-Level Outcomes
While there are many ways to assess program outcomes, some programs find that there are specific course-level student learning outcomes that relate to particular program-level student learning outcomes. When this is appropriate, those course-level outcomes can be mapped to their related program-level outcomes to aid in assessment. 

Program Review- Instructional Departments

CCC is accountable for demonstrating the quality of its programs and services to ourselves, our students and the community we serve. Additionally, we must provide evidence of this quality to the state and to accrediting bodies.

Program review for instructional departments includes in-depth review of the specific programs offered by the department. We use the word "program" to mean a variety of things. We certainly include each of our degree and certificate programs, but we have other clusters of classes that are programs even though they do not result immediately in a degree or certificate. These are clusters of classes that have very specifically identified expectations for learning outcomes (e.g., developmental mathematics, science for health occupations, general education).

Instructional programs go through a formal program review every three years that involves input and analysis from instructors in the program as well as constituents outside of the department, including advisory committee members, faculty from receiving transfer programs, graduates and employers. As part of the three-year program review cycle, instructional departments do an in-depth analysis of student attainment of program learning outcomes (PLOs) and use this analysis to improve student learning. Although the formal program review writeup occurs on a three-year cycle, the assessment activities for the various PLOs are often spread out over multiple years during the cycle based on where and how the assessments are conducted.

While Program Learning Outcomes are detailed on the Program Learning Assessment page of this site, below are two resources specific to program review:

The Assessment Committee (A-Team)

The A-Team is an integral part of the Clackamas Community College's continuous improvement system and helps ensure the rigor and quality of teaching and learning. The A-team provides tools and systems to document and communicate how we assess students and improve learning.

While the A-Team has broad representation from all academic divisions at the college, it reports to the College Council and works in conjunction with the Curriculum Committee, Institutional Research Office and Instructional Standards and Procedures Committee (ISP). The majority of members are faculty, with each division having at least two faculty representatives.

The Mission

  • Help create a culture of continuous improvement through teaching and learning.
  • Understand how and what students are learning.
  • Provide leadership and training for assessment activities.
  • Work with the college to create an institutional assessment plan and develop high-impact institutional practices.
  • Support program review for programs and services.
  • Assess the effectiveness of systems of assessment.

The Process

  1. The Student Learning Assessment coordinator works with the A-Team Steering Committee to develop priorities and processes.
  2. The A-Team subcommittees are responsible for developing resources to support assessment efforts.
  3. The A-Team will act as mentors with individuals and departments to adapt assessment systems to their unique needs while ensuring consistency.

More detailed information about the A-Team can be found on the Assessment Committee's Moodle Site.