Meeting student learning objectives (SLOs) can feel like an insurmountable task on top of everything teachers and administrators are already trying to track. GradeCam is a flexible, time-saving tool that can help them create, monitor and report on SLOs progress from a single teacher to an entire district.
What is a SLO?
A student learning objective – or SLO – is a measurable, long-term academic goal informed by available data that districts set for teachers and students. Well-defined and articulated learning objectives are important because they provide students with a clear purpose to focus their learning efforts, direct your choice of instructional activities, and guide your assessment strategies.
The primary purpose of SLOs is to improve student achievement in every classroom. An equally important purpose of SLOs is to provide evidence of each teacher’s instructional impact on student learning in non-tested areas. SLOs give educators, school systems, and state leaders an additional means by which to understand, value, and recognize each teacher’s effectiveness in classrooms.
If properly implemented, student learning objectives help teachers bring more science to their art, strengthen instructional support to the classrooms, and improve the quality of the outcome.
– William J. Slotnik, Founder and Executive Director, Community Training and Assistance Center
Solving the Challenges of SLOs
In this report, the U.S. Department of Education highly recommends instituting SLOs but recognizes the challenges districts may face in instituting them. Here are the two main challenges and how GradeCam can be used to solve them:
CHALLENGE: Developing and monitoring SLOs is complex and time-consuming.
Providing standardized assessments across the district and monitoring them can be a huge hurdle. However, if they are developed with the time-saving power of GradeCam, assessments can be created, scored and monitored with very little administrative support needed.
GradeCam helps at every step of the assessment process from customizing forms, scanning and scoring papers, and auto-recording grades, to generating flexible data reports that can be easily shared.
Since no special equipment or forms are required, answer sheets can be printed on regular paper and scanned with existing mobile and desktop cameras. Grades can also be instantly transferred into any digital grade book.
Then, the monitoring can begin! Inside GradeCam, you can pick and choose which assignment appear on longitudinal reports.
You can assign specific standards to individual questions within an assessment in GradeCam. For example, the following chart shows the growth of a standard for a particular class over time. You now have dependable evidence of your SLO progress at your fingertips!
CHALLENGE: It is hard to ensure the quality of SLOs and the assessments used to measure student learning.
Consistency across the classroom is difficult to obtain, not to mention across districts! GradeCam’s sharing tools can make this effort seamless. Assessments and data can be shared with teachers and administrators across grade levels or the whole district depending upon your needs. Administrators can be certain that data is being tracked and monitored consistently across the whole district.
Whether you’re a teacher needing to track your SLOs for your own classroom or a superintendent looking to standardize how your district handles SLOs, we’ve got you covered!
Sign up for a free GradeCam account below or contact our sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk with someone about how you can start tracking SLOs across your district and set up a pilot!