Educational Assessment: Using Student Learning Objectives to Promote Student Growth
Choose Your Format
How do educators know when students have mastered important content? Effective educators know they must find the perfect balance of selecting priority standards and carefully identifying high-quality assessments that accurately gauge student progress, while also meeting the needs of diverse learners. Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) provide a formalized, but flexible process for educators to document student growth and mastery.
The SLO process guides educators in using data-driven decision making as they focus on what their students need to know, what they know now, and the curriculum, instructional strategies, and assessments that will drive mastery of content.
The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 led many states to research alternative methods of documenting student growth and progress on rigorous standards. This work initiated the development of the SLO process and its continued implementation. As of spring 2015, more than 30 states have implemented SLOs as part of their teacher effectiveness models.
Educational Assessment: Using Student Learning Objectives to Promote Student Growth provides educators at all levels with the tools to implement Student Learning Objectives in the classroom, school, district, or as a state-level initiative. SLOs go far beyond assessing and documenting student growth. The SLO process promotes:
- best practice in curriculum and standards alignment.
- data-driven decision making in planning, instructing, and assessing students.
- educator knowledge and skill in meeting student needs.
- educator collaboration.
- connections between teacher practice and student learning.
The authors believe that Student Learning Objectives offer a valid, reliable, and sound assessment process that enables educators to formally measure student growth.
About the Authors
Introduction to the Second Edition
Chapter 1 Assessment and Student Learning Objectives
Chapter 2 Assessment Cycle
Chapter 3 Grading Practices
Chapter 4 Prioritizing Learning Content
Chapter 5 Selecting and Developing Assessments to Measure Student Growth
SLO Assessment Planning Guide
Assessment Quality Checklist
Performance-Based Assessment Checklist
Webb Leveling: Expectations for Student Performance
Chapter 6 Analyzing Data and Developing a Baseline for Student Growth
Chapter 7 Writing Student Growth Goals
Chapter 8 Reflecting on Student Success and Informing Future Practice
Appendix A SLO Quality Checklist
Appendix B Core Content SLO Examples
High School U.S. History-Differentiated Growth Goal
5th Grade Earth and Space Science-Performance Task Assessment
1st Grade Math Team-Tiered Growth Goal
Grade Seven Writing-Mastery Growth Goal
Appendix C Non-Core Content SLO Examples
Grade 8 Vocal Music Ensemble
Grade 2 Visual Arts
High School Welding Technology
6th grade Physical Education
Alan L. Neville has worked as a public-school administrator, teacher, and Professor of Education. He currently serves as a member of the South Dakota Department of Education’s Mentor Development Team and Extraordinary Cost Oversight Board and is an appointed member of the statewide Distance Learning Task Force. He conducts presentations and writes on topics related to educational assessment, teacher mentoring, and Native American studies, especially Lakota/Dakota/Nakota. He is a veteran of the United States Army.
Janeen Outka serves as a School Improvement Specialist and District Technical Advisor, coaching administrators and teachers in comprehensive school improvement processes and teacher and principal effectiveness. Dr. Outka is also an adjunct instructor at Northern State University. She conducts presentations and writes on topics related to assessment, data analysis, curriculum alignment, and teacher mentoring.