Success Stories

​The impacts of SLO practices on student learning, achievement, and​ institutional  ​effectiveness. 

  1. RCC’s Film, Television, and Video department hold a film festival each semester. The course is a culminating project class where students produce a 7-10 minute film. This film exhibits everything the student has learned in the past two years of FTV courses. The skills the students should display are directing, lighting design, sound recording, cinematography, and editing. Each film is judged by a Film/TV industry professional and individual feedback is offered to each student in a one-to-one film review session. During the film review, the student is given the judging criteria in the written form. The student can see how their film scored on an industry professional score sheet. That same night the films are screened for the public at a student-run film festival. The student filmmakers then compete for different film awards like best overall film and an audience favorite award.

    Film Festival.JPG 
  2. Other activities include nursing program portfolios and the math department’s incorporating the New Science of Learning into instruction. The portfolios include reflections on how students met SLOs through their seminar, skills lab, and clinical experiences and are reviewed by the Nursing discipline as part of their ongoing assessment. Math faculty restructured the topics in intermediate algebra courses based on a learner-centered approach of teaching outlined in the book, The New Science of Learning by Terry Doyle and Todd Zakrajsek. Student learning is assessed before and after the restructuring, and the assessment suggests that there is an improvement in what students are learning. In view of this success, other faculty members have been recruited to use these ideas in other sections of the course.

  3. The Riverside Assessment Committee (RAC) provides a forum for the discussion of assessment activities and best practices at the College. Students enrolled in Nursing programs at RCC develop portfolios containing examples of their work that demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the stated outcomes. Students reflect on how they met SLOs through their seminar, skills lab, and clinical experiences. Student portfolios are reviewed by the Nursing discipline as part of their ongoing assessment of Nursing courses and programs.

  4. Another example of successful assessment practices comes
    from the Math Department. A Math faculty member MathMatics.JPG
    attended a presentation centered on the book, The New Science of Learning by Terry Doyle and Todd Zakrajsek. Using the learner-centered approach presented in the book she restructured the topics in her Intermediate Algebra course. She developed a means of assessing student learning gains on particular concepts tied to outcomes both before and after the restructuring. As a result, sharing the results additional Math faculty members are attempting to restructure topics in the courses they teach following this model.

  5. Institutional SLO practices, especially the mapping/aligning of SLOs and PLOs, have led to improvements at the course and program-level. All Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs have developed program-level outcomes, and in 2011-12, all CTE disciplines completed a mapping/aligning project. The effectiveness of this practice in improving programs is demonstrated by Applied Digital Media (ADM). The ADM program conducted an analysis of which courses Introduced (I), Developed (D), or Mastered (M) a PLO. ADM identified six PLOs that required more emphasis and one PLO that needed to be more broadly included throughout the program. During the 2011-12 academic year, ADM revised PLOs and their coverage in courses and in the overall program. In Spring 2013, the College undertook a direct assessment of its areas of emphasis (AOEs) programs. Faculty workgroups reviewed/confirmed the alignment of AOE course SLOs to AOE PLOs initiated by Norco College and mapped courses unique to Riverside City College. This alignment informed the selection of AOE courses for assessment. Faculty directly assessed students’ attainment of the PLOs based on end-of-term projects, exams, and assignments. In Spring 2014, a summary report of the AOE assessment results was distributed to the faculty workgroups for broader discussion at the department/discipline level. Workgroups are currently writing a report that will summarize the departments/discipline’s discussion of the results and recommended changes to the AOEs. The AOE project has provided a framework for assessing the AOE programs, and the recommendations will be provided to the college Curriculum Committee.

  6. The RAC held a district-wide Assessment Summit in Feb. 2018 where they had an Escape Room to get ready for PLO Assessments. This article is published on the NIOLA (National Institute for Learning Assessment) discussing the planning of this event. NILOA newsletter

  7. From Assistant Professor of Music Technology, Jennifer M. Amaya:
    I had to conduct my own program review and assessment of my courses last year, and I’m glad that I did. In addition to quality instruction, we’re of course concerned about the number of students interested in our courses and filling the seats. I also want to see more of my students completing our existing music technology certificate, as we’ve had problems with students losing interest halfway through. And I’m growing the program, so I’m looking into the possibility of adding an AA with hopes to transfer more of my students into some of the new, modern, less traditional music degrees (which is a very complicated situation).

    What I’ve learned through constant assessment of my classes and the review of my program as a whole for the past year and a half is that my student demographic is entirely different than what I originally assumed it would be.

    I was assuming, heading into RCC full time, that I was going to be working with traditional music majors in my music technology courses. What I’ve found through all of this analysis and being mindful of my student population, taking note of what they’re successful with vs. not, and what classes in the program are getting enrollment vs. not, is that parts of my program are slightly out of date and/or not relevant to my actual student population/demographic. As it turns out, the majority of my students are not traditional music students. Our music majors are so busy with their traditional class load, they rarely have time to devote to music technology. So, my student demographic is overwhelmingly “non-traditional,” they are not the band/orchestra/choir students; but, rather, they are the students who have dabbled with more current ways of making and performing music, which K-12 education does not serve. Many of my students are self-taught musicians, technologically-savvy, and new to the concept of formal music instruction, which traditional college music programs also do not serve. It took me a year + to figure this out, and I’ve actually had to change my mindset a little bit about college music education, to accommodate them.

    So, I’ve made small adjustments in the past year and a half to my lower-level courses in our music technology series, based on very thorough course assessments. And I’m making larger changes to our music technology “program,” based on program review. My “program review” has actually gone above and beyond what we do in Nuventive. I’m in discussions at the local, state, and national level with other professors regarding this new wave of “non-traditional” students and degree programs, and I’m leading a group, locally, to prepare for the future creation of an ADT in Music Industry Studies. (Even the title, “Music Industry Studies” is a topic of discussion and debate!) But a lot of good things are happening in this area, and I’m starting to apply what I’m learning & gathering from my colleagues across the nation, to prepare us to be competitive in the future with transfer students. (But it took defining my students as “non-traditional” to get myself moving in the right direction.)

    What has happened recently is that my student enrollment is increasing, my student engagement is through the roof (we’re starting a club now, as we finally have plenty of interest), and the 2nd course in our series has more students enrolled this semester than I have ever seen before. Word of mouth, I have been told, is strongly encouraging students to study music technology here at RCC Riverside, whereas in the past many were being directed elsewhere. (This is what the students have told me.) And I have done virtually no external marketing or outreach yet. I’m just getting started. So, basically, the changes I made to the courses, and the changes I am making to the program (including adding some exciting, new courses), based on all of this assessment and review + student feedback, are already making positive changes to enrollment and student success.

    Reflecting on all of this, assessment and review has taken my personal feelings out of course and program design. I’m not making changes based on how I feel about my courses and program, or what I personally want to do, or what we’ve historically done; rather, I’m making changes based on my students’ needs, performance, success, etc. I’m paying attention to the students in my classes and their performance on every project and exam. When and where the majority of students stop performing well or showing up, I’m asking why, I’m listening to them, and I’m making adjustments so that they can be more engaged and successful. I don’t think I’d be where I am right now in this process if I hadn’t been forced to assess my courses and program last year. (It just happened to be due last year.)

​​​​Contact​ Us

   Denise Kruizenga-Muro
   Riverside Assessment Coordinator
   Associate Professor, English
   (951) 222 - 8618
   Jude Whitton
   Riverside Assessment Coordinator
   Assistant Professor, 
   Communications Studies
   (951) 328-3774
   Wendy McEwen
   Dean, Institutional Effectiveness
   (951) 222-8148