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Guidelines for the Student Learning Outcome Page

The following is a completed student learning outcome page including comments from peer reviewers.  This page may be used to guide completion of the Blank Student Learning Outcome Page.  

EXAMPLE: Program - History  (from University of Nebraska Lincoln)

Outcome 1:  

Student Learning Outcome One

In a research and writing project in the following areas, students will demonstrate their skill in presenting their research finding effectively according to the writing standards employed in the field of history:  1) Thesis development and support; 2) Mechanics and grammar 3) Organization; 4) Transitions and flow; 5) Use of primary sources; 6) Use of secondary sources

Opportunities to Learn (Optional)

The History Program will have the students develop the research and writing outcome in the context of the HY492 Capstone Seminar.

Question of Interest

Do research papers from the capstone course indicate that students have learned from the curriculum the skills needed to produce a high quality research paper?

Since many of the graduates from our program go on to attend graduate school, writing skills are very important.  The capstone course is a new addition to the program; we are interested in seeing if the capstone course provides enough instruction in writing research papers or if that topic should be strengthened in other courses.

Assessment Measure and Method(s)

Measure:  Students will demonstrate the Research and Writing Outcome based on their capstone seminar research papers using the attached evaluation table.  Generally there will be three sections of the capstone seminar (with 12 -15 students each) offered each semester. 

Method:  A committee of two regular history faculty will evaluate a minimum of six seminar research papers annually, using the attached evaluation table.  The chair of the evaluation committee will collect the sample size, collate the results, and present them to the Undergraduate Studies Committee and department Chair.  This method measures multiple learning components, thus assisting the Outcomes Assessment Committee, and the Undergraduate Studies Committee, and the History Department faculty in determining patterns in student learning and identifying areas of low performance or that need further analysis. 

Comment 190


3:51 p.m.

Program Manager









Program Response


3:55 p.m.

Program Manager



Outcome:  Well –developed.  The outcome is well written and provides a clear description of what students are expected to learn.


Question of interest:  Developing.  How will the answering of this question contribute to the improvement of your program?


Assessment method:  Well-developed.  Why are only the papers from the students receiving grades of C or better included?  We suggest that including a broader sample will be more representative of the abilities of students across your program. 


Peer reviewers:  Jeremy, David, Aaron


The plan has been adjusted according to your suggestions.


Summary of Assessment Evidence/Results

After spring semester 2004, the Outcomes Assessment Committee examined a sample of six research papers drawn from two capstone seminars.  The mean score in this category (Research and Writing) was 3.38; two papers, or about 33%, scored above the mean (3.50, 4.0).  This means that two papers were reasonably well-written, and four were of lesser quality.  Well-written can be interpreted to mean a reasonable degree of conformity to the criteria listed above (i.e., a paper with a clear thesis, accurate prose, logical and clear organization, and us of primary and secondary sources).  The mean scores for each research and writing component are as follows:

1.     Thesis development and support: 3.33

2.    Mechanics and grammar: 3.67

3.    Organization:  3.83

4.    Transitions and flow: 3.40

5.    Use of primary sources: 1.75

6.    Use of secondary sources:  3.83

Use of Assessment Evidence/Results

Scores and methods of assessing research and writing were communicated to all faculty members.  Providing this information will clarify department expectations and will help faculty members to focus on specific skills that students need to improve.  The low score on component no. 5, use of primary sources, suggest that faculty members, especially those teaching the capstone seminar, might place additional emphasis on the proper use of primary sources.