Close-the-loop (CTL) is the dialogue component of the outcomes assessment process. The CTL form facilitates discussion and, once submitted, becomes a report that documents the faculty dialogue process. The dialogue should have participants identifying gaps in student learning, developing and planning instructional strategies to mediate those gaps, and identifying any resources needed in the classroom to support improvements in student learning.
These CTL conversations between faculty are promoted by the six-question CTL form and represent a synthesis of the outcomes assessment data for a course from a given academic year (AY). CTL is the link in the assessment cycle (i.e., the “loop”) that reflects on the previous AY’s course-level outcomes (CLOs) results, and creates an action plans for the next AY. This planning—a part of program plan and program review processes—includes making adjustments to curriculum and resource requests.
The CTL process supports a continuous cycle of improvement of teaching and learning.
Every faculty member (both full-time and part-time) is responsible for reporting and discussing CLO data.
As described in Section 5.3.8. of the Rio Hondo College Faculty Association Collective Bargaining Agreement,
Faculty shall be responsible for listing student learning outcomes (SLOs [i.e., CLOs]) in their syllabi, for entering SLOs assessment data in the appropriate software package, and for engaging in dialogue and writing assessment reports with other faculty for one semester each academic year. SLOs data must be entered every year by June 30.
Two to three faculty members or staff members should be included in the dialogue process. Participants may include faculty members who teach the course being discussed, teach within the area, or teach outside the area. For additional support, the dean of the division in which the course is taught and/or Outcomes Committee representatives can serve as part of the dialogue team.
The CTL activity is an annual event that typically happens in early fall as part of program planning. CTL forms should be submitted before the annual program plans and program reviews are due. At this point, there should be three CTL forms for each course, assuming that the course was taught both academic years.
The CTL form comprises six questions to help guide the conversation for each course. The questions focus on action items for course improvement, documenting success in teaching, equity considerations, curriculum changes, and resource requests.
CLO data reported in the previous academic year should be utilized to validate recommendations and requests. The data being analyzed includes:
CTL reports are utilized to improve course content and methods of instruction. They should be cited during program plans and program reviews for justification of resource requests and other needs.
The CLO data is reviewed, assessed, and reported during:
The program manager (i.e., the lead for annual program plans) utilizes the information to create program plans. Later, unit managers will also refer to the CTL reports.
Beginning Fall 2021, the CTL form is an online form. Once completed, you do not need to upload the form into Taskstream.
The CTL form for years prior to Fall 2021 can be found in the program plans in Section 3.2. The College is no longer accepting CTLs for years prior to Fall 2021.
In Fall 2020 the Outcomes Committee recommended and Academic Senate approved three options for small and one-person departments.
These CTL options were developed by the Outcomes Committee to establish and communicate a protocol for small or one-person departments with one or fewer full-time faculty members to dialogue about course outcomes assessment, record the dialogue, and create an action plan as part of the annual CTL process.
These options are to serve small or one-person departments only for all CTL processes. The recommendation is to include two to three faculty members or staff members in the dialogue process. For additional support, the dean of the division in which the course is taught and/or Outcomes Committee representatives can serve as part of the dialogue team.
CTL options for small or one person departments include the following:
Option 1: Course Groupings
Similar type courses are grouped together and collectively discussed at one dialogue session. This holistic approach works well for areas with many courses but few sections, and for areas whose courses are offered once a year or every other year.
After the group dialogue, a CTL document capturing each course’s needs is created. This document is then saved and appropriately titled (see below) for each course. Each CTL form is then uploaded individually into Taskstream into the appropriate program plan.
Title: Course Prefix and Number, “CTL,” Semester, and Year.
Title example: ART 101 CTL Fall 2021
In the Dance Program, courses could be grouped together in terms of Performance, Technique, and Theory. The similarities in these courses would allow for the collective needs (i.e., resource requests, curriculum adjustments, equity considerations) to be analyzed and addressed together.
Option 2: Divide and Rotate
Divide the total amount of courses into three groups. Dialogue and complete CTL forms for 1/3 of the courses each year. Repeat the cycle once during the six-year program review cycle so that all courses are reviewed twice within six years.
A program divides its fifteen courses into three groups (e.g., Group A, Group B, Group C) of five courses each.
Year 1: Group A
Year 2: Group B
Year 3: Group C
Year 4: Group A
Year 5: Group B
Year 6: Group C
Option 3: Dialogue Pod
Faculty members who are the only ones teaching in their area may include faculty outside of their area for all CTL processes. These participants may include faculty members within their division, outside their division, Outcomes Committee representatives, and a dean.
A faculty member teaching Subject X may decide to include in their CTL dialogue group a faculty member teaching Subject Y within their division, a faculty member teaching Subject Z outside of their division, and an Outcomes Committee representative. These four close-the-loop participants would provide multiple perspectives from the course, area, and college levels.