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Clear, Shared Outcomes

The learning outcomes are shared and understood by teachers and students. These outcomes are used as an anchor to guide the choice of instructional activities, materials, practice assignments, and assessment tasks. These outcomes are understood by students and used to prompt self-reflection and goal setting.
Supporting Beliefs
  • Everyone involved in the learning process must know where we are going and why the work matters.
  • Teachers and students need choice in their learning experiences to be invested in and achieve outcomes.
  • A culture of reflection is necessary for students to set and adjust personalized goals.
Key Traits
  • Students can explain how the short-term learning objectives will result in their proficiency on the long-term learning objectives (Performance Indicator)
  • There are clear descriptions of what success looks like aligned to the learning objective or performance indicator.
  • Students can use the performance indicators and learning objectives to reflect upon their own progress and set goals for growth.
  • Students can explain how tasks align to the clear, shared outcomes.
  • The materials and activities align with the clear, shared outcomes.
Literature Supporting the Element
1. “The increased emphasis on differentiated instruction and the momentum of project-based learning and personalized
learning highlight an important shift happening in education: the move toward a more student-centered approach to
teaching and learning. Interestingly, this movement comes on the heels of the push toward standards and academic
accountability that caused everyone to tighten their collective grips on what students did and how they did it. It’s
important to recognize that these two seemingly very different movements don’t need to be at odds with one
another; teachers should be able to personalize learning within the context of academic standards. It does, however,
require that teachers shift their instructional strategies, and choice may be one of the best vehicles for getting there,
for it allows teachers and students to share in the responsibility of teaching and learning. Teachers can create viable
options that students will find compelling and appropriately challenging, and then students take responsibility for
choosing options that will best help them learn.”
—Anderson, M. (2016). Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn: The Key to Student Motivation & Achievement (pp.
16-17). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.
2. “We have found that many schools now require teachers to write a daily objective on the board for students. That’s a
useful practice so that students have something to refer back to, but posting it is nowhere near sufficient. It has to be
accompanied by making sure students know what it is and what it means. The point is that learning is empowered
when students understand what they are aiming to learn, and something has to happen beyond posting the objective
on the board to ensure that student understanding.”
—Saphier, J., Gower, R., & Haley-Speca, M. (2008). The Skillful Teacher: Building your Teaching Skills (6th ed.) (p.
164). Acton, MA: Research for Better Teaching.
3. “Our lessons, units, and courses should be logically inferred from the results sought, not derived from the methods,
books, and activities with which we are most comfortable. Curriculum should lay out the most effective ways of
achieving specific results. It is analogous to travel planning. Our frameworks should provide a set of itineraries
deliberately designed to meet cultural goals rather than a purposeless tour of all the major sites in a foreign country. In
short, the best designs derive backward from the learnings sought.”
—Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2006). Understanding by Design (2nd ed.) (p. 14). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
4. “If you want your students’ learning to be at the higher levels–appreciating the complexity of the natural world, for
example, or seeing how human history is told in multiple ways–you can write objectives aimed to target this kind
of achievement. After all, the thinking and performance of the great scholars in any field are described by their
colleagues in terms of analytical ability, creative synthesis, and insightful evaluation. If their thinking and performance
can be so described, so can our students’.”
—Reeves, A. R. (2011). Where Great Teaching Begins: Planning for Student Thinking and Learning (p. 32).
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.
5. “Learning can be enhanced to the degree that students share the challenging goals of learning, adopt selfassessment
and evaluation strategies, and develop error detection procedures and heightened self-efficacy to tackle
more challenging tasks leading to mastery and understanding of lessons.”
—Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007, March). The Power of Feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 83.
Retrieved from http://education.qld.gov.au/staff/development/performance/resources/readings/power-feedback.pdf.
6. “Goals are the reason classroom activities are designed. Without clear goals, classroom activities are without
direction. Researchers Joseph Krajcik, Katherine McNeill, and Brian Rieser (2007) explain that good teaching begins
with clear learning goals from which teachers select appropriate instructional activities and assessments that help
determine students’ progress on the learning goals.”
—Marzano, R. J. (2009). Designing and Teaching Learning Goals and Objectives (p. 4). Bloomington, IN: Marzano
Research Laboratory.
7. “...[T]hinking after completing tasks is no idle pursuit: It can powerfully enhance the learning process, and it does
so more than the accumulation of additional experience on the same task. Performance outcomes, we find, can be
augmented if one deliberately focuses on learning from experience accumulated in the past. Results from our studies
consistently show a significant increase in the ability to successfully complete a task when individuals are given the
chance to couple some initial experience with a deliberate effort to articulate and codify the key lessons learned from
such experience.”
—Di Stefano, G., Gino, F., Pisano, G.P., & Staats, B.R. (2016, June 14). Making Experience Count: The Role of
Reflection in Individual Learning. Harvard Business School. Retrieved from