Table of Contents

Developing Instructional Learning Targets

In the publication Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing It Right - Using It Well, (2012) the authors  provide a concise rationale for the development of clear, specific instructional learning targets:

"One of the most important contributors to accuracy of assessment information is the match to what was or will be taught. If we are not clear about the specific learning targets at the focus of instruction, we will not be able to create or select assessments that accurately measure achievement. Before planning instructional activities, it is a good idea to have a sense of what you will assess and how"

–Chappuis et al. 2012


While there are multiple ways to develop instructional learning targets, the following steps are widely used by educators:

Step 1. Deconstruct the content standard to provide clarity on what it is students are expected to know and be able to do.
Step 2. Complete a task analysis of the standard to identify the building blocks or sub-skills of the standard that are necessary for student mastery of the targeted skills or knowledge.
Step 3. Develop individual instructional learning targets to provide the focus for daily instruction and classroom-level, minute-by-minute, and day-by-day assessment.
Step 4. Match assessment method(s) to the instructional learning targets and/or content standard to increase the accuracy of assessment information.
Step 5. Communicate instructional learning targets in student friendly language to help ensure that students are clear about what it is they are expected to know and be able to do as a result of classroom instruction.