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Learning Goals

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Learning Goals
Learning goals are specific statements
of intended student attainment of
essential concepts and skills.
3 Pivotal Questions
Where is the
learner going?
Where is the
learner right
How will the
learner get
(Thompson &Wiliam,
Learning Goal
The learning goal is the heart of assessment for learning and
needs to be made clear at the planning stage if teachers are to
find assessment for learning manageable.
The Instruction & Assessment
Planning Process
1. Establish Unit Big Idea(s) from IACC
2. Establish:
– Learning Goals
– Criteria for Success
– Formative assessment strategies
3. Review and revise
– Check alignment with Big Ideas
– Specificity of Learning Goals, Success Criteria and
Instruction & Assessment Planning
Essential Concept/Skill:
Big Idea:
Learning Goals
Success Criteria
AfL Strategies
Deeping Understanding of Learning Goals
Literature Review Activity
Review the Iowa
Assessment for Learning
Literature Review and the
Assessment for Learning
Brief sections on
Learning Goals.
What I Know
Reading Reflection
After completing a review
of both documents,
collaborate on completing
a converging radial.
What I
Learned from
the Lit Review
What I
Learned from
the Brief
Quotes from Research
When teachers start from what it is they want students to know and design their instruction
backward from that goal, then instruction is far more likely to be effective (Wiggins and
McTighe 2000).
The indispensable conditions for improvement are that the student comes to hold a concept of
quality roughly similar to that held by the teacher, is continuously able to monitor the quality
of what is being produced during the act of production itself, and has a repertoire of alternative
moves or strategies from which to draw at any given point ."A key premise is that for students
to be able to improve, they must have the capacity to monitor the quality of their own work
during actual production ... This in turn requires that students:“ (
Know what high quality work looks like
Be able to objectively compare their work to the standard
Have a store of tactics to make work better based on their observations."
(Royce Sadler 1989).
Students cannot assess their own learning or set goals to work toward without a clear vision of
the intended learning”(R.Stiggins, J. Arter, J. Chappuis & S. Chappuis, 2006)
Sharing learning objectives or intentions offers pupils an opportunity to become involved in
what they are learning through discussing and deciding the criteria for success, which they can
then use to identify evidence of improvements (Eric Young 2005).
Classroom where students understand the learning outcomes for daily lessons see performance
rates 20% higher than those where learning outcomes are unclear. (Marzano, 2003)
Why Share Learning Goals
Research suggests that pupils
who understand what they
are being asked to learn and
how they will recognize
success are more likely to
make learning gains than
those who don’t. This is
particularly true for less able
Black& Wiliam (1998, 2003, 2004,
DeMeester & Jones (2009)
Meyer, Turner & Spencer (1997)
Wiggins & McTighe (2000)
The general effect of setting goals or objectives produces
a gain of between 18% and 41%)
[Marzano, Classroom Instruction that Works, p. 93].
Why is it important to focus on student learning outcomes?
Clear Learning Goals
Impact on students:
Impact on teachers:
More focused (especially
underachieving students).
Demand knowing the learning
More likely to express learning
needs – specifically.
Develops a learning culture.
Quality of work improves.
Behavior improves.
Persevere longer.
Greater ownership of learning as
responsibility shifts from teacher to
Automatically self-evaluative.
More enthusiastic about learning.
More focused.
Sharpens teacher understanding of
learning target.
Expectations rise.
Focus on quality rather than getting
everything done.
More critical of activities.
Reinforces relevant vocabulary.
Assists in reflection of lesson and
learning that occurred.
Strengthen connections with
parents related to child’s strengths
and weaknesses.
Why is this important?
• There is a body of research that indicates when
students are clear about their learning goal, a goal
that describes the intended learning, they perform
significantly better than those who are given goals
that focus on task completion.
• Making the intended learning clear, substitutes a
learning goal mindset for their activity-oriented way
of thinking.
– It focuses the attention to learning by helping them
understand that the assignment is the means to the
Why is it important to share learning
goals with students?
Gives students a clear idea of what will be learned and why
Transfers some of the responsibility for learning to the students
Enables students to be active participants rather than passive recipients
Gives students a clear idea of what they are aspiring to, so they are more
likely to achieve
Provides students with a tool for evaluating their own learning
Makes the task clearer for students, so they may carry it out more
Helps students to focus on the purpose of the learning, rather than
merely on the completion of the activity
Helps students to stay on task and refine their work so that this matches
the objectives more closely
Helps teachers review progress and gives them a clearer focus for their
Adapted from Brighton & Hove Assessment for Learning Project (September 2002)
Learning Goal Qualities:
arrive from evidence already known about the students’ learning;
are written in student-friendly terms;
are based on an understanding of the learning progression;
allow students to make connections to prior learning;
guide the development of success criteria;
guide the development of formative and summative assessments; and
guide teacher actions.
What They Are Not:
• descriptions of student tasks or activities
• necessarily measureable
Learning Goals
Essential Concept: Understand the role of scarcity and economic trade-offs and how economic conditions impact people’s lives.
Understand the role of scarcity
and economic trade-offs and
how economic conditions
impact people’s lives.
Types of resources and that
they are limited.
The economic trade-offs that
individuals and households
weigh when making decisions
involving the use of limited
Understand the role of scarcity and
Understand the role of scarcity and
Understand the role of scarcity and
economic trade-offs and how economic economic trade-offs and how economic economic trade-offs and how economic
conditions impact people’s lives.
conditions impact people's lives.
conditions impact people’s lives.
Choices usually involve
The wide disparities that exist пѓ�
The relationship between
tradeoffs: people can give up
across the globe in terms of
economic goals and the
buying or doing one thing in
economic assets and choices.
allocation of scarce resources.
order to buy or do something
Good judgment in making
How economic incentives
personal choices related to
influence the economic choices
Wide disparities exist between
spending and saving. Predicts
made by individuals,
the “haves” and “have-nots” of
short-term and long-term
households, businesses,
the world in terms of economic
financial consequences based
governments, and societies to
use scarce human capital and
on current choices.
The goods and services that
Ways goods and services are
natural resources more
the local school and
efficiently to meet their
produced and distributed
community provide and the
The differences between
economic goals.
producers and consumers in a
people who provide them.
market economy.
Economics Learning Progression
From Jason Riley, East Union CSD
Big Idea: Scarcity and economic trade-offs are essential to all economic activity. (Econ 1)
Learning Goal
Success Criteria
I can:
Understand the differences between
producers and consumers in a market
I can:
Understand the ways goods and
services are produced and
I can:
Understand the influences that affect п‚·.
personal economic choices.
FA Strategy
Examples of Learning Goals from the
Iowa Core
Social Studies, Geography, Grades 6-8
Essential Concept: Understand how geographic and human
characteristics create culture and define regions.
Big Idea: Geographers have developed regions as tools to examine,
define, describe, explain, and analyze the human and physical
Learning Goal Example:
Understand that geographic
regions define both
convenient and manageable
units upon which to build our
knowledge of the world.
Learning Goal Example:
Understand that a basic unit of
geographic study is the region, an
area on the earth’s surface that is
defined by certain unifying
Questions to Focus Feedback
• Does the learning goal focus on what students will learn
instead of what students will do?
• Will the learning goal help students to focus on the purpose
of the learning, rather than merely on the completion of the
• Is the learning goal written in age-appropriate language
students will understand?
• Is the learning goal aligned to the Big Idea of the learning
• Is the learning goal aligned to the essential concept and
This PowerPoint was adapted from a PowerPoint created
for the 2009-2010 Assessment for Learning Project of the
Iowa Department of Education in partnership with
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