Build Your Own SLO - A First Year Symposium Group Presentation

The ability to make a difference in society or to thrive on the job market is often a goal of students entering college, yet they often introduced to what skills they can learn that will help them accomplish these goals while in high school.

More frequently than not, vocational skills, like those from a nursing or computer science degree, can seem like the most clear path to success after graduation. What often gets overlooked though are the soft skills, networking, and critical analysis that are the foundation of your Core Humanities courses. Early in the term you worked on a discussion post about the topic of the value of those Humanities courses. This assignment is going to build on some of those ideas.

an SLO?

For all of your classes, your professors have certain goals they want you to accomplish. Those goals are listed in you syllabus in a section called Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs).

In your History class, for example, the SLOs are standardized by the State of Texas so that every student taking HIST 1301 across the state should be achieving the same goals. Here are those goals from Professor syllabus:

Students who successfully complete this course will:

  • demonstrate critical thinking by combining, changing, or reapplying existing information, gathering and assessing information relevant to a question, and analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing information;
  • develop communication skills by interpreting and expressing ideas through written, oral, or visual communication;
  • demonstrate personal responsibility by evaluating historical choices and actions, and relating consequences to decision making;
  • develop social responsibility by identifying intercultural competence and civic responsibility in past regional, national, and global communities.

How Will We Build Our Own SLO?

For your Symposium project, you and your group will create a Student Learning Outcome for your First-Year Learning Community experience this semester. In order to be able to explain your SLO to other students, faculty, and administrators at the First Year Symposium, want to be able to talk about a specific skill or ability that you have gained from this learning community.

Keep in mind that skills and abilities have to be physical or technical. Learning new ways of thinking or approaching information is also a new skill. So if you feel like learned new ways of thinking about the past, about the present-day world, or about your time here in college, that might be a learning outcome for you. You could also focus on ways that learned how you can make a difference in society, ways come to better understand your society, or ways that you may be more prepared for the job market.

The first step will be to brainstorm with your group about what you feel you are getting out of your participation in our learning community.

Once narrowed down your ideas, you will need to conduct a bit of research to provide evidence of how the elements of your SLO are integral to successful learning or are otherwise valuable skills to have. Through this research, build an argument for the importance of your SLO and prepare a presentation to be shown at First-Year Symposium.

What Should Our FYS Presentation Look Like?

This presentation will need to convince your audience of the importance of your SLO. also want to show how the work you did in our classes connects to your SLO. Finally, you should think and try to address that larger question of the value of the Humanities Core courses. Do they, for example, help us gain new insights into the ways in which we see the world around us.

Once created a SLO, conducted research, and prepared a presentation, you will need to display your argument visually on a tri-fold board to be showcased at FYS. This board should look professional, well thought out, and utilized as a point of reference for both you and your audience.

General guidelines for presenting can be found here: