While I have been working in many ways with Lane’s Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) since I arrived at Lane, in Fall 2015, I will gain a much deeper relationship with the CLOs as I begin a 2-year appointment as CLO Coordinator. In this position, I will be responsible for supporting faculty, staff, and students across campus as they deepen their understanding of and interaction with the CLOs. I’m quite excited to begin working in this capacity, and am especially looking forward to working closely with students to make the CLOs more accessible and meaningful to them.
Below you will find information about the CLOs and ways in which I’ve been working with them since I arrived at Lane. In the future I will add information about the specific work I’m doing in my capacity as Lane’s CLO coordinator as well as reflections upon this work.
In addition to Course Goals provided for individual courses, Lane Community College also has a set of Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) that are central to the liberal education approach that is the heart of Lane. According to Lane’s Assessment website, “The liberal education approach can empower our students to become global citizens, capable of communicating across borders and critically analyzing the evolving issues and problems they face.”
There are five CLOs at Lane which work together to provide the framework for this liberal education; they are as follows: Think Critically, Engage Diverse Values with civic and ethical awareness, Create Ideas and Solutions, Communicate Effectively, and Apply Learning. Detailed descriptions of each of these CLOs can be found in the next section. For additional CLO information, please visit the Core Learning Outcomes website.
Detailed Definitions of the CLOs
Critical thinking is an evaluation process that involves questioning, gathering, and analyzing opinions and information relevant to the topic or problem under consideration. Critical thinking can be applied to all subject areas and modes of analysis (historical, mathematical, social, psychological, scientific, aesthetic, literary, etc.). Students who think critically:
- Identify and define key issues
- Determine information need, find and cite relevant information
- Demonstrate knowledge of the context and complexity of the issue
- Integrate other relevant points of view of the issue
- Evaluate supporting information and evidence
- Construct appropriate and defensible reasoning to draw conclusions
Engage diverse values with civic and ethical awareness
Engaged students actively participate as citizens of local, global and digital communities. Engaging requires recognizing and evaluating one’s own views and the views of others. Engaged students are alert to how views and values impact individuals, circumstances, environments and communities. Students who engage:
- Recognize and clarify personal values and perspectives
- Evaluate diverse values and perspectives of others
- Describe the impact of diverse values and perspectives on individuals, communities, and the world
- Demonstrate knowledge of democratic values and practices
- Collaborate with others to achieve shared goals
Create Ideas and Solutions
Creative thinking is the ability and capacity to create new ideas, images and solutions, and combine and recombine existing images and solutions. In this process, students use theory, embrace ambiguity, take risks, test for validity, generate new questions, and persist with the problem when faced with resistance, obstacles, errors, and the possibility of failure. Students who create:
- Experiment with possibilities that move beyond traditional ideas or solutions. Embrace ambiguity and risk mistakes
- Explore or resolve innovative and/or divergent ideas and directions, including contradictory ideas
- Utilize technology to adapt to and create new media
- Invent or hypothesize new variations on a theme, unique solutions or products; transform and revise solution or project to completion
- Persist when faced with difficulties, resistance, or errors; assess failures or mistakes and rework
- Reflect on successes, failures, and obstacles
To communicate effectively, students must be able to interact with diverse individuals and groups, and in many contexts of communication, from face-to-face to digital. Elements of effective communication vary by speaker, audience, purpose, language, culture, topic, and context. Effective communicators value and practice honesty and respect for others, exerting the effort required to listen and interact productively. Students who communicate effectively:
- Select an effective and appropriate medium (such as face-to-face, written, broadcast, or digital) for conveying the message
- Create and express messages with clear language and nonverbal forms appropriate to the audience and cultural context
- Organize the message to adapt to cultural norms, audience, purpose, and medium
- Support assertions with contextually appropriate and accurate examples, graphics, and quantitative information
- Attend to messages, check for shared meaning, identify sources of misunderstanding, and signal comprehension or non-comprehension
- Demonstrate honesty, openness to alternative views, and respect for others’ freedom to dissent
Applied learning occurs when students use their knowledge and skills to solve problems, often in new contexts. When students also reflect on their experiences, they deepen their learning. By applying learning, students act on their knowledge. Students who apply learning:
- Connect theory and practice to develop skills, deepen understanding of fields of study and broaden perspectives
- Apply skills, abilities, theories or methodologies gained in one situation to new situations to solve problems or explore issues
- Use mathematics and quantitative reasoning to solve problems
- Integrate and reflect on experiences and learning from multiple and diverse contexts
The A-Team’s Engagement with Lane’s CLOs
The Assessment Team at Lane has worked very hard to make the CLOs visible around campus and the community. You can see an image of one of the banners we worked to have installed across campus below. We are working to help instructors more deeply embed CLOs in their courses; more information about our work with faculty can be found here. One of the ways that the Assessment Team is working with instructors is by funding the creation of CLO rubrics to help assess students progress toward one or more of the CLOs in a specific assignment, course, or program. A list of all the CLO rubrics created so far through Assessment team funded projects can be found here.
In addition, the Assessment Team co-sponsored a workshop titled “Engaging with CLOs” in Spring 2014. You can hear several of Lane’s students speak about the role and importance of CLOs in their education at Lane in this excerpt from student presentations given at this workshop below.
My Past Engagement with Lane’s CLOs
I’ve personally been very invested in making the CLOs more accessible and meaningful to students. As part of that work, I created a CLO mini-documentary with students during Fall 14/Winter 15 terms. Both the students in front of the cameras and the ones behind them are amazing. Please take a few minutes to see their work and hear what they have to say.
I have also been working to devise ways to make the CLOs more meaningful and accessible to students in my courses. I want students to understand that because the CLOs are central to the liberal education approach at Lane, each course they take at Lane will engage one or more of the CLOs. I, along with many other instructors, am now including the CLOs directly in my teaching and syllabi to help students gain familiarity with and understanding of the CLOs and their role in the student experience at Lane.
To see samples of how I’ve incorporated CLOs into my syllabi, see my Courses page. I began incorporating the CLOs into my syllabi for all courses in Spring 14, so any courses taught from then forward will include CLO information on the posted syllabi.
Additionally I’ve worked on co-creating several CLO rubrics with colleagues, including an Engage rubric for Writing courses, a Think/Communicate rubric for an end-of-term WR 115 assignment, and a rubric that includes all the CLOs for the Honors Program.