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John Hattie: Learning intentions and success criteria

John Hattie explains the importance of sharing learning intentions.

The basic premise is that the students have the same idea as their teacher what is going on in the classroom, and what they should be learning as a result of doing. Many students are not going to know this unless it is clearly signposted - learning intentions (or objectives), and learning outcomes (or success criteria) provide this direction.

You could try several different ways to share and even co-construct success criteria with students for maximum impact:

1. Doing it wrong so the students correct you, or not completing them, so that they do.

2. Show a finished product, so that they can see what a good one looks like

3. A comparison of two products is even better as it gives an indication of quality (why is this one better than that one?).

4. Sloppy success criteria giving rise to incorrect methods or work. The students then decide together how to make the success criteria better.

5. Retrospective creation of success criteria is useful when the product or process is so big it’s not immediately obvious what went into it. This is especially useful in breaking down aspects of enquiry.

6. Revisiting existing success criteria, to see if you can make it better.

Active Learning Through Formative Assessment (Clarke, S. 2008) gives a great description of how you can use learning intentions and success criteria

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