Learning goals are specific statements
of intended student attainment of
essential concepts and skills.
3 Pivotal Questions
Where is the
Where is the
How will the
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
1. Establish Unit Big Idea(s) from IACC
– 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
Learning Goals Success Criteria AfL Strategies
Deeping Understanding of Learning Goals
FROM THE RESEARCH
Literature Review Activity
Review the Iowa
Assessment for Learning What I
Literature Review and the Learned from
Assessment for Learning the Lit Review
Brief sections on What I
Learning Goals. What I Know Learned from
After completing a review
of both documents, Learning
collaborate on completing Goals
a converging radial.
Quotes from Research
1. 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
2. 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).
3. 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)
4. 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).
5. 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 • More focused.
underachieving students). • Sharpens teacher understanding of
• Demand knowing the learning learning target.
target. • Expectations rise.
• More likely to express learning • Focus on quality rather than getting
needs – specifically. everything done.
• Develops a learning culture. • More critical of activities.
• Quality of work improves. • Reinforces relevant vocabulary.
• Behavior improves. • Assists in reflection of lesson and
• Persevere longer. learning that occurred.
• Greater ownership of learning as • Strengthen connections with
responsibility shifts from teacher to parents related to child’s strengths
student. and weaknesses.
• Automatically self-evaluative.
• More enthusiastic about learning.
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
– 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
FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE IN
Essential Concept: Understand the role of scarcity and economic trade-offs and how economic conditions impact people’s lives.
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
Understand the role of scarcity Understand the role of scarcity and Understand the role of scarcity and Understand the role of scarcity and
and economic trade-offs and economic trade-offs and how economic economic trade-offs and how economic economic trade-offs and how economic
how economic conditions conditions impact people’s lives. conditions impact people's lives. conditions impact people’s lives.
impact people’s lives. Choices usually involve The wide disparities that exist The relationship between
Types of resources and that tradeoffs: people can give up across the globe in terms of economic goals and the
they are limited. buying or doing one thing in economic assets and choices. allocation of scarce resources.
The economic trade-offs that order to buy or do something Good judgment in making How economic incentives
individuals and households else. personal choices related to influence the economic choices
weigh when making decisions Wide disparities exist between spending and saving. Predicts made by individuals,
involving the use of limited the “haves” and “have-nots” of short-term and long-term households, businesses,
resources. the world in terms of economic financial consequences based governments, and societies to
well-being. on current choices. use scarce human capital and
The goods and services that Ways goods and services are natural resources more
the local school and produced and distributed efficiently to meet their
community provide and the The differences between economic goals.
people who provide them. producers and consumers in a
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 FA Strategy
Understand the differences between
producers and consumers in a market
Understand the ways goods and
services are produced and
Understand the influences that affect .
personal economic choices.
Examples of Learning Goals from the
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: Learning Goal Example:
Understand that geographic Understand that a basic unit of
regions define both geographic study is the region, an
convenient and manageable area on the earth’s surface that is
units upon which to build our defined by certain unifying
knowledge of the world. characteristics.
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