L&S: Expedited project for collecting Course Learning Outcomes (CLO)

This page describes the campus Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) Expedited Project, as well as resources for L&S departments and instructors as they collect, revise, and submit CLOs for their courses.

Overview of project

The Provost’s Office has launched a multi-year initiative to collect and publish high-quality course learning outcomes (CLOs) for UW-Madison courses. CLOs are a critical part of course information; they communicate important information about courses, support student learning, and provide a framework for evaluating student understanding and progress.

The initiative to collect course learning outcomes is well underway:

  • Learning outcomes are now considered core components of courses, similar to titles, descriptions, and requisites.
  • Our Lumen course proposal system has been digitally collecting and storing learning outcomes for 4 years; about a third of L&S courses have CLOs now in Lumen.
  • Starting June 2024, collected learning outcomes will be published in Guide and potentially other places. (Until then, you can find them individually in Lumen Courses or en masse, filterable by subject, in this data viz.)

To move this initiative forward, the Provost’s Office is asking all departments to collect and submit learning outcomes for their undergraduate courses.  The Student Learning Assessment Office has created an expedited process and collection tool to help the department collect and submit all remaining learning outcomes at one time-- no course proposals or syllabi required.

L&S Teaching & Learning Administration is working with L&S departments on a staggered timeline on this initiative, with a scheduled end date of December 2025.

Target courses for the Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) Expedited Project

When departments are ready to engage in this work, L&S will provide the department with a list of the the courses targeted for this initiative, which are courses that have all of the following characteristics:

  • undergraduate courses (i.e. numbered below 700)
  • group instruction
  • recently offered (within the last 4 years); and
  • do not already have learning outcomes entered in Lumen Courses

Departments have the option to submit learning outcomes for graduate courses, independent study courses or courses not recently taught if they wish.

Learning outcomes that have already been submitted via Lumen Courses may not be modified via this process (they must be made via a course proposal).

Get started: CLO Expedited Project in your department

Is your department ready to start collecting course learning outcomes for this project? If so, follow the steps below:

1. Connect with Sara Stephenson to get started.

Sara Stephenson (sara.stephenson@wisc.edu) will give you a collection tool with priority courses highlighted (see above). She will also give you detailed instructions and information about the required style guidelines for learning outcomes and the review process. 

2. Look over the L&S guidelines for writing learning outcomes

Starting June 2024 course learning outcomes will be published in Guide and potentially other places. L&S has created guidelines for ensuring outcomes have a similar look and feel across our departments: L&S Guidelines for Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

3. Review L&S advice for creating a departmental collection and review process that will support high quality learning outcomes.

Departments should anticipate that they will need to work with faculty and staff during the collection/review process, to ensure all learning outcomes align with L&S Guidelines. We have talked with faculty and staff in departments who gone through this process in the pilot phase; creating an organized collection and review process that worked within the culture of their specific department was key to their success: L&S Advice for Departments: Collecting and reviewing learning outcomes (for the expedited project)

Further guidance and information about the project

For any additional information,advice or questions about the Course Learning Outcome (CLO) Expedited Project, please contact Sara Stephenson at sara.stephenson@wisc.edu

KeywordsCourse Learning Outcomes,CLO,   Doc ID126969
OwnerSara S.GroupL&S KB
Created2023-03-30 10:40:40Updated2023-10-30 08:58:11
SitesL&S KB
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