Integrating and Assessing Essential Learning Outcomes: Fostering Faculty Development and Student Engagement

Susan Cydis, Mary Lou Galantino, Carra Hood, Mary Padden, Marc Richard


This paper proposes a model for implementing a college wide initiative designed to promote student competence with essential learning outcomes. This mixed-methods study combined descriptive and qualitative approaches to explore experiences of students and faculty as they engaged in a project that focused on the integration of essential learning outcomes (ELOs), The researchers relied on the use of descriptive statistics and interpretive phenomenological analysis to explore the phenomena that emerged while the faculty participants in this study engaged in a collaborative study group designed to support instructional pedagogy with the integration of ELOs and students’ experienced competence. Six themes emerged from the focus on ELO integration, including connection, awareness, utility, reflection, intention and facilitation. Additionally, using a student survey of self-perceived ELO competence from the beginning to the end of the semester, researchers found a difference in student ratings of 0.25, (p ≤ 0.05), suggesting an increase in student ELO competence. The findings support the importance of the themes identified and propose a model for successful ELO integration.


Essential Learning Outcomes, pedagogy, student perceptions of learning

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ISSN 1527-9316