I spent last Saturday in a public Illinois high school where every bulletin board in the school had a common logo and format for “Learning Targets”. So after a a short amount of “Googling” I now know that Learning Targets are student-focused, accessible goals for what the students need to know, why they need to know it, and to what extent they need to know it within a given day. This seems like an obvious convention but the visual nature of the Learning Targets boards paired with the consistency of seeing this display in every classroom really struck me. And I wondered what it might be like if we gave our online learners Learning Targets as a standard convention in their days, weeks, and semesters in our online classes. Maybe you already do this – awesome. But if you don’t, maybe you could consider adding this information to the start of each week or unit in your online class. If you do something like this and it works, let us know. If you don’t and you try it as a new strategy, let us know. Enter your comments below!
Think about making the answers to these questions extremely obvious, maybe even answer those questions for the students when documenting your online units and lessons.
From Knowing Your Learning Target (http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar11/vol68/num06/Knowing-Your-Learning-Target.aspx):
- What will I be able to do when I’ve finished this lesson?
- What idea, topic, or subject is important for me to learn and understand so that I can do this?
- How will I show that I can do this, and how well will I have to do it?
From The Do’s and Dont’s of Learning Targets (http://www.iwalkthrough.org/learning-targets/):
- Do frame the target as learning. (Don’t frame the target as activity.)
- Do write the standard in student-friendly language. (Don’t just write down the standard in “standardese”.)
- Do talk explicitly about the target. (Don’t post it and hope the [students] notice it.)
And while I’m suggesting this might work in online classes (after all, this is the Online Teaching at a Glance blog), I think it is a great strategy to consider for learning experiences in any mode!