Santa Barbara City College's SLO Faculty Development Project

March
2009
Mark Ferrer, Faculty Resource Center Director, Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) has made the incorporation of student learning outcomes (SLOs) a central focus for the past four years. Members of the college community have been engaged in an intense, ongoing, self-reflective dialogue about using SLOs to improve student learning. This dialog, which began in June 2004, has resulted in the development and institutionalization of the SLO Implementation Cycle that includes Course, Program and Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs and ISLOs).

Santa Barbara City College's SLO Faculty Development Project has always been faculty driven.

The strong support of faculty for the project and the level of intense participation (each cohort works together for an academic year) indicate the effectiveness of the process. Faculty use SLOs and their corresponding measures and rubrics to improve teaching and learning, to draw on one another's strengths and successes, and to make their expectations clear and relevant, their feedback formative, and their follow-up timely and valuable to their students. Over 200 of our 250 full-time faculty have taken part in extensive training that included SLO, measure and rubric development, implementation of SLOs in the classroom, collection of student performance data, and the development of student learning improvement plans. Ninety-eight adjunct faculty have also been involved in this process.

The SBCC SLO Faculty Development Project speaks directly to the college's mission, to be "committed to the success of each student." The Project has helped faculty focus on student learning through increased involvement and engagement in discussions about teaching, learning, and the use of student learning outcomes to improve both. The SLO Project remains the catalyst for transformation. Faculty are changing their teaching methods, their measures, means of communication and guidance; they are adopting learning strategies that have evolved out of the discussions and inquiry that drive this process. The SLO Project has given faculty and staff the chance to make connections we otherwise would not have made and give priority to investing our skills and resources in helping students achieve.

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