Jessica Mascle: Designing Effective Learning Targets for US History and Government
Designing Effective Learning Targets for US History and Government
I teach in an [Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School.] One of the many distinguishing features of such a school is proficiency-based grading. In order to use proficiency-based grading a teacher must possess the ability to use well thought out learning targets. Learning targets are like learning objectives and are referenced most often in the work of Richard Stiggins. When a teacher uses learning targets teachers, parents, and students are more clear about the intentions of learning. When the intentions of learning are unambiguous the learner is more apt to meet the target. When the intentions of learning are clear they can also be are more accurately assessed.
1. Instructional Problem: In order for a teacher to use learning targets effectively in their classroom, the learning targets must be properly established and explicitly taught to the students.How does a teacher go about establishing learning targets for a course? How do they teach them explicitly to students? And how do they communicate progress towards the meting of them?
2. Intended Setting: These questions are intended to be answered from the perspective of a teacher at an Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School, [Tapestry Charter High School] in Buffalo, NY.
3. Participants: This work can help teachers at my school, other EL Schools, and teachers and schools that are interested in using a proficiency-based assessment system.
4. Intended Transformation: As a result of this course I hope to be able to learn to use both Long Term and Supporting Targets with confidence and effectiveness. I then hope to help the Social Studies department at my school do the same.
Course Purpose: The purpose of this course is to clarify for teachers, students, and parents how to use Learning Targets as guides to intended learning. With proper development and communication of learning targets teaching and learning will become more effective.
I. I can determine the appropriate sources of life long, course, unit, and lesson learning targets for a US History and Government course
1. I can decide where my US History and Government course's Long Term Learning Targets should be derived from. 2. I can decide where my lesson Learning Targets should be derived from. 3. I can decide where my unit learning targets should be derived from. 4. I can decide where my life-long learning targets should be derived from. 5. I can explore the reasons behind using learning targets at all the various levels
II. I can write life long, course, unit, and lesson learning targets for a US History and Government course applying the use of appropriate verbs.
1. I can analyze State curriculum, National curriculum, and teacher resources for information that I can apply to my life-long, course, unit, and lesson learning targets. 2. I can synthesize the information in order to create life long, course, unit, and lesson learning targets.
III. I can classify my life long, course, unit, and lesson learning targets for a US History and Government course as knowledge target, reasoning target, skill target, and/or product target.
1. I can analyze the different taxonomies for classifying learning targets. 2. I can apply the Stiggins taxonomy to my learning targets 3. I can evaluate whether or not my learning targets are balanced among the types of targets.
IV. I can match the type of targets with the appropriate assessment type.
1. I can analyze Stiggin's work on Target-Method Match. 2. I can create assessments applying Stiggin's Target-Method Match.
5. I can be explicit about learning targets with students while teaching.
Entry-Level Skills: Knowledge of the NYS Standards for US History and Government and the Standards of the National Council for the Social Studies.
Gagne, R,M.,Wager, W.W, Golas, K., Keller, J. (2005)Principles of Instructional Design.Wadsworth, Cengage, Learning. Belmont, CA.
Stiggins, R, Arter, J., Chappuis, J., Chappuis, S. (2006)Classroom Assessment for Student Learning. Educational Testing Service. Princeton, NJ.
NYS Standards for Social Studies: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/socstand/home.html accessed 12/5/09