Assessment for Learning
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Learning intentions

This Professional Learning module focuses on the importance of making explicit for students what they are going to learn. The learning intention (or objective) for a lesson or series of lessons is a statement which describes clearly what the teacher wants the students to

  • know
  • understand; and
  • be able to do

as a result of the learning and teaching activities.

The teacher knows why the students are engaged in a particular activity, but the students are not always able to differentiate between the activity and the learning that it is meant to promote. A carefully framed learning intention will direct students' attention to the learning. The learning intention emphasises what the students will learn, rather than what they will do.

The teacher shares this learning intention with her students, either orally or in writing. Sometimes the learning intention is written on the board and shared with students at the beginning of a lesson or unit. At other times it is not mentioned until after the engagement activity.

The learning intention could also be called the learning objective or goal. The terminology is not important, but the purpose certainly is.

The following links explore learning intentions in more detail.