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Syllabi says: student voices make a difference

September 10, 2014

Photo of a woman listening with hand cupped around her left earMost human beings often wonder whether what they say counts or whether anyone even hears them.

Not members of the Student Advisory Council on Learning Outcomes (SACLO).

The group began looking into NIU sylabbi two years ago, eventually creating “a clear rubric” for faculty to follow when creating each syllabus: Students want information on exactly what is expected of them, what is needed to succeed in each course and what assignments are required outside of class.

Sure enough, says Stephen R. Wallace, associate director of the Office of Assessment Services and faculty adviser to SALCO, syllabi have improved.

“This year,” Wallace says, “students have expressed interests in looking deeper into the plus-minus grading system, course and teacher evaluations, the appropriateness of standardized tests, roommate compatibility surveys and assessing co-curricular activities.”

Want to make a difference?

Stephen R. Wallace

Stephen R. Wallace

The group will hold its first meeting of the semester from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in Adams Hall B13. Students with classes that meet until 12:15 p.m. are welcome to arrive late.

Members will set the year’s agenda, elect officers and make plans for social events and other activities. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Students who participate in SALCO can count it as service in their program of studies and on their resumes.

“Knowing that President Baker and his wife are passionate about assessment and assessing student learning outcomes,” Wallace says, “I see a great opportunity for this advisory council to help guide and support the assessment of baccalaureate learning outcomes, general education, NIU Plus and alumni experiences of career success.”

For more information, call (815)753-8659or email [email protected].