As previously outlined, staff collaboratively work together each week to plan lesson sequences for students learning. Professor John Hattie outlines that a key starting place for lesson planning is the learning intention. If one bookend for learning is the learning intention, the other bookend is the success criteria. (Hattie, Visible Learning)
The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) define learning intentions as the descriptions of what learners should know, understand and be able to do by the end of a learning period or unit. Learning intentions are the basis for tracking student progress, providing feedback and assessing achievement. Furthermore AITSL define success criteria as the measures used to determine whether, and how well, learners have met the learning intentions.
Hattie outlines that the single most important thing that teachers can do is to know their impact on student learning. When learning intentions and success criteria are clearly communicated,both teachers and students are able to be active in looking for evidence of learning. For students this means knowing what they are expected to learn (learning intentions) and what the learning goal looks like once they have achieved it (success criteria).
WHY LEARNING INTENTIONS AND SUCCESS CRITERIA?
- Ensure all students know what they are going to learn and where they are heading.
- Provide guidance to teachers on what their chosen teaching and learning activities are seeking to achieve.
- Provide the basis for feedback and reduce discrepancies between current student understanding and intended learning.
- Assist students and teachers in tracking and assessing student progress.
- Help teachers to understand the impact of their teaching and learning activities, and when they may need to adapt or change these.
- Help students understand what improved performance looks like.
LEARNING INTENTIONS ARE MOST EFFECTIVE WHEN:
- They provide students with appropriate challenge
- They are matched to teaching and learning activities and assessment tasks
- Students share a commitment to achieving them, as they are then more likely to seek feedback
- They are generalisable to allow effective transfer of learnt skills to different contexts.
As staff work together to collaboratively plan lesson sequences for their students, careful consideration is given to the creation of learning intentions and success criteria. This aligns with Hattie’s notion that strategic use of learning intentions and success criteria promotes student self reflection. Our aim is to create students who are self reflective lifelong learners.