Mapping student learning outcomes to course and program learning outcomes

In a workshop at the college dealing with program, course, and student learning outcomes (essentially a modification and extension of the triple tier I discussed in 2003) a question arose as to how to map student learning outcomes up through course learning outcomes to program learning outcomes via a matrix that reported only Introduce, Demonstrate, and Master.

The query was "If Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) map one-to-one to an Introduce, Demonstrate, or Master (I, D, M), then which SLO (in section D) is which I, D, or M (in section C)?

The director of academic programs noted that our SLO assessments would lead to the ability to report Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) and thence Program Learning Outcomes (PLO). Moving measurements upstream from section D to section C would imply that the above mapping exists. I wrestled with the mapping issue when I designed a Student Learning Outcome Assessment Plan back in 2005 and 2006, which itself was an outgrowth of an attempt to develop a PLO-CLO-SLO triple tier outline back in 2003.

Bear in mind that a single outcome could be introduced, demonstrated, and mastered in a single course (MS 150 CLO 1.3), thus the one-to-one mapping does not necessarily hold. Ultimately the answer to "the student will be able to" is a binary yes or no. Competent or not competent as a former colleague liked to say. With that in mind, I have temporarily modified the MS 150 outline to explicitly show which SLO maps to which PLO-CLO matrix cell by the insertion of a second table in section C of the MS 150 outline.


CLOPLO 3.1PLO 3.2PLO 3.3
1I,D,MI,D I,D1
2I,D I
3I,D I,D,M

1Accomplished via the statistics project report

CLOPLO 3.1PLO 3.2PLO 3.3
11.1 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.2 1.A2
22.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.52.1
33.1 3.2 3.3 3.1 3.2 3.3

2Accomplished via the statistics project report which is part of course level assessment, refer to CLO1 on the outline.

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