Ohio’s Student Learning Objective (SLO) Process

Lori Lofton, Senior Executive Director, Center for the Teaching Profession at the Ohio Department of Education, presents the Student Learning Objective Process.

Presenters: Lori Lofton, Senior Executive Director, Center for the Teaching Profession; Carolyn Frey, Assistant Director, Center for the Teaching Profession, Ohio Department of Education


Student Growth Measures account for 50% of the evaluation framework. If value-added data is available, it must be used.  However, many courses have no value-added data to draw upon, so local growth measures (such as approved vendor assessments) and the outcomes of their use must be clearly defined.

Lori Lofton, Senior Executive Director, Center for the Teaching Profession at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), discussed one option for locally determined student growth measures – Student Learning Objectives (SLOs).

SLOs are a process, not a goal. They involve setting specific goals that extend to all students involved, using real data to assess student progress, allowing adjustments to instruction based upon progress, and enabling accurate measurement.

ODE offers a checklist of required elements (education.ohio.gov, keyword: OTES or OPES) in its SLO Template Checklist. This checklist provides a roadmap to considering and including all necessary elements to an SLO.

Although the checklist is more in-depth, the process generally involves five steps:

  1. Gathering and reviewing available data – what assessments do you have – what are you going to use?  Where are your students – what is the starting point for data review?
  2. Determining the interval of instruction and identify content – the description should be broad and overarching and specify what students need to know to be successful and move on.
  3. Choosing assessment for the end of the term and setting the growth target(s) – making sure they are aligned to the SLO. Targets should set based upon analyzing original data/assessments.
  4. Submitting SLO for approval, then preparing for approval and review. The SLO Checklist should be complete at this point.
  5. Final scoring of SLO to determine if it has been achieved.  ODE has a scoring calculator (Excel) to see if growth targets are met

Lofton provided several examples to illustrate how very specific treatment of each element of the checklist is essential to determining if the SLO will result in accurate and all-inclusive measurement of the student population it addresses. The approval of each element of the SLO will require not only the “if” (Does the SLO draw upon trend data? or Does it set developmentally appropriate targets?) but also the particulars that enable the committee to understand the “how” (providing evidence of how the SLO draws on trend data, or how it was determined that the targets are appropriate).

Lofton noted that ODE strongly recommends every LEA take the opportunity to use the 2012-13 school year as a pilot if they are not fully implementing the new teacher evaluation system. As part of this pilot opportunity, they should have all teachers create at least one SLO using the state designed tools and resources to gain experience with the process.

In addition to the SLO checklist, ODE provides a great deal of assistance and informational material on the ODE website.

More on this Session: Download Presentation | Watch Video



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