How to make Learning Targets clear to Students?

The third-grade classroom is bustling with activity. Students are in the process of producing slime, and you can tell they’re having a good time. The teacher is putting in a lot of effort to ensure that pupils understand the learning objectives: to comprehend the interactions between solids, liquids, and gasses. Students can observe success criteria listed on the wall as well as examples of excellent work displayed throughout the class. Random checks of understanding are being conducted by visiting teachers to ensure that students are aware of expectations.

Teachers and principals are visiting classes and questioning students about their comprehension of learning requirements, as well as their self-assessment of their progress, as part of the school’s improvement process and what steps they need to take next to achieve their objectives. The team filmed student interviews in a third-grade classroom and reviewed the important findings with the instructor after class.

Here are extracts from two student interrogations conducted in the same classroom.

1st interrogation

Teacher: Can you tell me what you’re learning?

Student: We’re studying slime right now.

Teacher: How do you know whether you’ve accomplished your goal?

Student: We don’t like the slime to attach to us. 

2nd Interrogation

Teacher: Can you tell me what you’re learning?

Student: We’re studying solids, liquids, and gasses right now.

Teacher: How do you know whether you’ve accomplished your goal?

Student: Each phase can be described and related. We’re now making slime to learn about solids, liquids, and gasses.

The teacher is doing a fantastic job. The inquiry is whether or not all of the students are following the teacher’s instructions. Building student clarity is a never-ending pursuit: we’ll never get there, but it’s worth our time and effort.

      Few steps for establishing clear learning targets Determine the Level of Knowledge Necessary to AttainYour Objective.Choose an Action Verb. Make your Very Own Objective. Review your Objective. Repetition, Replay, Repeat.

How to Make Learning Targets Clear to Students?

When students have a clear understanding of what they are expected to learn, their pace of learning doubles. Furthermore, when students have a clear understanding of expectations, they have a better chance of appropriately assessing their current performance and responding to feedback.

Let’s look at some implementation issues and solutions.

  • Challenge 1: Novices have a hard time understanding rubrics: Rubrics are popular among experts because the bullet points clearly outline the fundamental expectations that they want pupils to learn. Because they don’t have a concrete illustration of what’s said, novices don’t fully comprehend the bullet points. As a result, students search the tool for objects that they are familiar with, such as actions (such as forming groups), tasks (such as correctly solving six questions), and circumstances (such as exploring bridges). Students begin to think about group work, assignment completion, and bridges as a result of this scanning for the familiar, and are thus less likely to be clear on the standards they’re learning about.

Teachers are urged to begin with examples of excellent work that fits the teacher’s objectives to focus pupils on the actual learning. Students will be better equipped to utilize rubrics to evaluate their work as well as offer, receive, and apply feedback if they see examples of exceptional work in a variety of circumstances. This also allows them to concentrate on the main subject that the teacher is looking for.

  • Challenge 2: Just because you tell folks the expectations doesn’t guarantee they understand them: Clarity is a collaborative process that requires numerous interactions. Co-construction is a collaborative process that allows students to develop a clear understanding of expectations. Rather than giving success criteria to students, co-construction involves active participation in the design of success criteria with them. Here’s an example of collaborative construction:
  1. Providing work samples that demonstrate achievement to students
  2. Students are asked to identify the aspects of the work sample that contribute to its success
  3. With students, create a list of success criteria.
  • Challenge 3: Teachers are largely hidden in the classroom, and pupils provide erroneous feedback to one another: The majority of the classroom experience is hidden from the teacher’s observation, as Graham Nuthall explains in The Hidden Lives of Learners. In the concealed classroom, children give and receive the majority of feedback from their classmates, and the majority of this is inaccurate feedback. To address this, we should have students do the following tasks: 
  1. Use the fishbowl approach to share their input and assess its accuracy about the lesson or unit’s expectations.
  1. Begin each lesson with a discussion of what mastery looks like, and have students compare and contrast the various degrees of mastery. 

When students have the tools to manage their learning, their performance, and attitude increase. It is our responsibility as educators to give those resources.

Concluding lines 

In this article, you see the challenges that are being faced by the teachers in making learning targets clear to students. When students have a clear understanding of what they are expected to learn, their pace of learning doubles. Furthermore, when students have a clear understanding of expectations, they have a better chance of appropriately assessing their current performance and responding to feedback. This information will surely help you in making learning targets clear to students.

Carter Martin
Latest posts by Carter Martin (see all)

Carter Martin

Hi, I am Carter, and Welcome to Answerout. I started writing on this Blog to share with you guys the tips, Facts and Research which I did in Education Field. & Unlike Some Students, I loved Learning Since a very young age and the best part which excites me are the new Findings in this Field and Increasing more Knowledge.

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