District debates outcomes software

The Los Angeles Community College District might have found new software to better track student learning outcomes (SLO), but the software is not without its detractors.

Academic Senate Presidents from each LACCD college debated the merits of eLumen at the District Academic Senate meeting in Downtown L.A. on Dec. 5. The eLumen software was the SLO system that was chosen by Pierce College and LA City College to replace their aging SLO systems.

“The data we were using wasn’t useful enough,” said Treasurer of the District Academic Senate, Alex Immerblum. “Student learning outcomes are two fold – what are students learning, and what faculty can do to figure out to improve their courses.”

Pierce College’s Academic Senate approved eLumen with a 26-2 margin with two abstentions at its last meeting on Dec. 1. L.A. City has used eLumen for the past two semesters.

Pierce chose eLumen because of its ability to be customized, and for its functionality, according to Pierce Academic Senate President Kathy Oborn.

April Pavlik, L.A. City’s SLO Committee chairman, said City requires mutual consent from every faculty member.

“It’s unnecessary, unwarranted control,” said Leslie Millce, president of Mission College’s Academic Senate.

Despite the debates, the District Academic Senate did not agree on what software to use for SLO.

Susan McMurray, president of Harbor College’s academic senate, said the entire district should use one software for the SLO.

“If it’s district-wide, then why are we not buying one system,” McMurray said.

The District Academic Senate will continue to discuss eLumen at their next meeting on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. at Pierce College.