Written by Dr. Bob Pelton

First row (left to right):  Jean Satterfield, MSDE, Bob Pelton, Stevenson University, Jamelah Murrell, US Department of Education, Ilene Swirnow, MSDE, Karen Robertson, Towson University

Back row (left to right): Saroja Barnes, MSDE, Lee Rutledge, Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC), Dixie Stack, WestEd, Liz Neal, MSDE, Frank Stetson, MSDE, Joe Freed, MSDE, Rima Azzam, WestEd


Stevenson University hosted a convening of more than 85 participants from 19 individual higher education institutions across the state of Maryland on the topic of Student Learning Objectives (SLOs).

This was an exciting opportunity for the School of Education because SLOs are growing trend in teaching and learning across the nation and offer a unique set of advantages over the traditional “teach and test” policy.  SLOs provide a process for educators to develop targeted student learning opportunities to promote excellence in teaching by considering a myriad of elements critical to the teaching and learning environment for all students. In the State of Maryland, SLOs will be used as part of the State’s new Teacher and Principal Evaluation system.

Elizabeth Neal, Education Specialist for Maryland State Department of Education, Office of Teacher and Principal Evaluation, and Lee J. Rutledge, Senior Associate at the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC), were available to provide an information sharing session on the role of SLOs in the state of Maryland. Robert Pelton, Professor of Education at Stevenson University, and Karen Robertson, Associate Dean at Towson University, facilitated a professional learning session on how IHEs can help prepare teacher candidates to successfully implement each of the SLO elements.  In a culminating activity, each IHE reviewed their own program of study to identify where SLO elements are addressed, as well as design and construct opportunities for program enhancement. 

For more information about Student Learning objectives, check out the Maryland State Department of Education SLO information guide.