workshop01Focus on LearningLearning intentions& success criteria

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Note to FacilitatorsWhat is the aim of this booklet?How do learning intentions andsuccess criteria fit within the juniorcycle?This is part of a set of four booklets aimed atdeveloping assessment practice for teachers in Ireland.The set of booklets and associated materials areintended to be used in a flexible way to allow teachersto explore a range of approaches which will enablethem to develop a coherent approach to assessment.The materials are aimed at facilitating both whole staffdiscussion and subject-based discussion. Althoughprimarily created for teachers involved in junior cycledevelopments, the material and approaches can beused across all sectors.It is important that learning intentions and successcriteria link closely with the learning outcomescontained in the junior cycle specifications. In this waythe ongoing formative assessment process is seen tocomplement and support the summative aspect ofassessment within the junior cycle. See page 6 anexample of how learning intentions, success criteria andan assessment task can be linked to learning outcomes.How is the booklet to be used?Schools may choose to use and adapt the material inany way to suit their own context. It is recommendedthat you start with the slide presentation. You maythen find it helpful to follow the steps outlined belowor you can develop your own workshop plan.Where possible, we would encourage using the materialon a school-wide basis as research evidence indicatesthat changes in assessment practice are more likely tobecome embedded if they are introduced on asystematic basis across a whole school.If you are planning to facilitate a workshop withstaff please consult the Facilitator’s Guide whichcan be downloaded at www.juniorcycle.ie/assessment.Page LegendWorksheetsThe following symbol is used throughout the booklet to show activities and worksheets that can bephotocopied for use in a workshop.3

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Step 1The slide presentation can be used to introducelearning intentions and success criteria to a whole staffgroup. The final slide in the Powerpoint contains someprompts for staff discussion based on the mainmessages of the presentation.Step 2Following the presentation it is recommended thatstaff view the short video of Dylan Wiliam talkingabout formative assessment.Dylan Wiliam ‘Formative Assessment’(2 mins 18)Step 3Prompt questions for staff discussion:Following on from these discussions you can nowexplore the workshop materials in this booklet. Theseactivities can be approached and undertaken in anyorder that suits the school context, and it is notnecessary or intended for them to be approached inthe sequence presented in the booklet.In the video Dylan Wiliam makes a number ofstatements about formative assessment.Formative assessment means:‘Using information to adapt your teaching toput the learning back on track’Step 4‘Taking constant readings about where learnersare and if the learning is not proceeding asplanned making adjustments’Print off the discussion cards. These can be used tostimulate further discussion and thinking or they canbe displayed around the school to reinforce the keymessages and to help staff to further develop theirpractice in this area.‘Minute by minute, day by day . allowingteachers to reflect on their practice‘Encourage staff to engage with the material included inthe recommended reading section.Discuss how close these statements are to yourown practice. What are the main challenges andbenefits of introducing formative assessmentpractice in your classroom?4

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01What are learning intentions andsuccess criteria?What are learning intentions?A learning intention for a lesson or series of lessons isa statement, created by the teacher, that describesclearly what the teacher wants the students to know,understand, and be able to do as a result of learningand teaching activities. Clear learning intentions shouldhelp students focus not just on the task or activitytaking place but on what they are learning. Learningintentions are always linked to one or more learningoutcomes in the specification.What are success criteria?So it is really important that we share learningintentions with our students!Success criteria are linked to learning intentions. Theyare developed by the teacher and/or the student anddescribe what success looks like. They help the teacherand student to make judgements about the quality ofstudent learning.To give our students the tools they need to take moreresponsibility for their own learning and achieve greaterlearning independence, we need to communicate tothem what they are going to learnWhy should I use learning intentions and successcriteria? why they should learn it in the first placeDespite building learning intentions into our planningdocuments, we are not always good at sharing learningintentions and success criteria with our students. Atthe same time, we want our students to be selfmotivated and have a sense of purpose. how they will recognise when they have succeeded.Can we be clear about the terminology?Research shows that students who regularly receivethis information in the classroom areThe use of learning intentions is not new. Teachersalso use the term ‘learning objectives’ or ‘learning aims’to share the learning with their students. The term‘learning intentions’ is used within these materialsbecause it puts greater emphasis on the process oflearning rather than the end product. The use of theterm ‘learning intentions’ is also used in other NCCApublications, including the NCCA Guidelines forPrimary Schools – Assessment in the Primary SchoolCurriculum. more focused for longer periods of timeWill this support the development of Key Skills? more motivated and active in their learningWhen teachers share with students what they will belearning (the learning intention) and what they arelooking for in their students’ work (success criteria) thissupports students in developing the skill of managingthemselves. They will also develop other key skills suchas communicating (as they give and receive feedback)and the skill of staying well as they become moreconfident and positive about their learning.So why would we want to keep the learning intentionsa secret from our students?The value of learning intentions andsuccess criteria better able to take responsibility for their ownlearning.Download the key skills framework for more detail.5

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Making the link between learning outcomes,learning intentions and success criteriaHere is an example of how a teacher developed learning intentions, success criteria and an assessment task linked tolearning outcomes for Junior Cycle English. Further examples are available on www.curriculumonline.ieWrite a book review – 1st YearLearning outcomesTaskA reading project for first year students runs for 6 to8 weeks. Students read from a list of prescribed books.Students are organised in reading groups (4/5 studentsin each group). Each group agrees the book to be readand reading takes place in class and at home. Fourbooks are read in total by each group.Oral Language5. Deliver a short oral text, alone and/or incollaboration with others, using appropriatelanguage, style and visual content for specificaudiences and chosen purpose.At the end of the group work the individual studentschoose a book they enjoyed and write a review. Thereview can be included in the student’s portfolio of writingand can also be used as the basis for an oral presentation.Reading4. Use an appropriate critical vocabulary whileresponding to literary texts.Success criteria5. Engage in sustained private reading as a pleasurableand purposeful activity, applying what they havelearned about the effectiveness of spoken andwritten texts to their own experience of reading. Shows understanding of the chosen genre or form-- Knowledge of the text under review-- Conveys enthusiasm for the text (or the opposite)-- Uses references well without giving away too much-- Adopts an appropriate critical stance-- Makes a clear recommendation Expresses ideas fluently, imaginatively, and withcontrol of expression Writing displays mechanical competenceWriting4. Write competently in a range of text forms, forexample, report, multi-modal text, review, blog,using appropriate vocabulary, tone and a variety ofstyles to achieve a chosen purpose for differentaudiences.7. Respond imaginatively in writing to their texts showinga critical appreciation of language, style and content,choice of words, language patterns, tone, images.Alternatively, these criteria could be expressed instudent-friendly language, e.g.:Learning Intention I show a good knowledge of the book I convey my enthusiasm for the text (or show clearlythe parts I don’t like) I express my ideas fluently and choose the rightwords and phrases most of the time My writing is accurate with correct spelling andgrammarWe are learning to read books for enjoyment, and toexpress that enjoyment through a well-constructedreview of a chosen teria

Activity 1Learning Intentions. How are we doing?Work either individually or with a partner and discuss how well you have developed your classroom practice in usinglearning intentions.Traffic light your responses to thequestions below using this code:AlwaysSometimesNever I set learning intentions with my studentsI make sure that the learning intentions are in studentfriendly languageI use words associated with learningI make sure the learning intention is clear and links to thebig picture i.e. the purpose of the learning.I use SMART learning intentions – specific, measurable,achievable, realistic, and time-limited.I re-visit learning intentions during the lesson and at the endof the lesson7

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Activity 2: From doing to learningWhen discussing learning intentions it is important tofocus on what students would have learnt by the endof the lesson or activity i.e. what is the learning theyshould retain and take away with them.Now have a go yourself by starting with an activityyou would use in your own class and produce somelearning intentions. You may find it helpful to referback to some of the questions in Activity 1 as a guideLook at the activities below and see how they havebeen developed into learning intentions. Think of anactivity that you would use in one of your classes anddecide how this might be developed into a number oflearning intentions.Remember that learning intentions need to be broadenough so that they do not limit the opportunities fora wide range of learning experiences.Also keep in mind that a learning intention or set oflearning intentions might carry forward for more thanone lesson.Share your ideas with your partner:Learning activityLearning intentionsTo plan an investigation to determine the relativeeffectiveness of baking soda as an antacidtreatment.To be able to: Write a testable hypothesis Decide on the most appropriate methods forconducting an investigation Explain how reliability, fairness and safety have beenconsideredGive a speech for or against capital punishmentTo be able to: Present a point of view in a persuasive wayWork in a group to design a leaflet to promotehealthy eatingTo be able to: Work effectively in a group Agree the key messages that should be included Consider most effective ways to visuallycommunicate the messages8

Activity 2From doing to learningUse this worksheet to develop some learning intentions based on classroom activities you are planning.ActivityLearning Intention9

Activity 3Success Criteria. How are we doing?Work either individually or with a partner and discuss how well you have developed your classroom practice insetting success criteria.Traffic light your responses to thequestions below using this code:When I set assignments I share success criteria with mystudentsAlwaysSometimesNever The success criteria are linked to the learning intentionThe success criteria are specific and concreteThe success criteria are clearly understood by the studentsI discuss the success criteria with the students and we agreethem togetherI use the success criteria for tasks as the basis for givingstudents feedback on those tasksI use the success criteria to support peer and/or studentself-assessmentI re-visit success criteria during the lessons10

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Activity 4: From learning intentionsto success criteriaThe examples below show how you might move fromlearning intentions to developing criteria for success.Learning intentionsSuccess criteriaTo be able to: Generates, discusses, and chooses interesting questions to investigate1. Write a testable hypothesis Uses scientific ideas to make testable predictions2. Decide on the most appropriatemethods for conducting aninvestigation Suggests more than one way to investigate the question3. Explain how reliability, fairnessand safety have been considered Explains the predicted relationships between the variables Identifies the variables in the investigation Identifies and justifies the most appropriate way to investigate Conducts a risk assessment of the proposed method and outlinesnecessary safety precautions-- Identifies the most appropriate data-gathering instruments to recordreliable data-- Acknowledges the limitations on the precision of the data to berecordedTo be able to: Begin with a good opening sentencePresent a point of view in apersuasive manner Present reasons and examples to back up your argument Use emotive and persuasive language (such as ‘Surely’) Use humour, stories and/or questions to gain your audience’s attention Conclude with a strong statement Look at your audience11

Activity 4From learning intentions to success criteriaUse one of the learning intentions you developed in the previous activity and now write some related successcriteria. Share and discuss your example with your partner.Learning IntentionSuccess Criteria12

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Planning our Next StepsThis workshop will hopefully have helped you developyour thinking about the use of learning intentions andsuccess criteria in your classroom.You are now asked to identify a couple of areas whereyou would like to improve your practice in settinglearning intentions/success criteria. You may find ituseful to refer to the traffic light questions on theprevious pages as a guide.If you have not used learning intentions and successcriteria before you are advised to start in a smallfocussed way. You should plan the change in practiceperhaps with one class in the first instance. Manyteachers find that it is useful to discuss theirexperience of learning intentions and success criteriawith other teachers and keep a log of any difficultiesthat they encounter. It will also be important to sharewith your students why you are changing your practiceand how it will benefit their learning. Some teachershave also found it helpful to discuss the changes withparents.ActivityUse the planning sheet attached to set out how youintend to take forward the development of learningintentions/success criteria in your classroom over thenext 3 months.It might be useful to start to plan your developmentfocussing on a small number of areas which you haveidentified as ‘red’ during the traffic-light audit.13

Planning Next Steps: Planning SheetTimescale/ClassMain area for development14Observations/Reflections

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Questions to consider in a subject departmentmeetingA school may decide to focus on Assessment as its third area for SSE. In particular, it could decide to focus onformative assessment. The following questions would be useful prompts to help gather evidence at subjectdepartment level about current practice in relation to formative assessment. The results of the deliberations on suchquestions could feed into whole staff discussion and ultimately help the school identify its strengths and areas fordevelopment in relation to formative assessment, which should then inform the school improvement plan.What do I/we understand by theterms ‘learning intention’ and‘success criteria’?How can I/we share examplesof learning intentions andsuccess criteria with eachother?How can we use learningintentions and success criteriato help us in planning forassessment within this subject?How can we involve students insetting success criteria withinthis subject?How do we provideopportunities for students toassess their own and eachother’s work against agreedcriteria?See also School Self Evaluation – Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools, (DES), p. 44-45.15

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Discussion CardsThe discussion cards can be cut out and used to stimulate small group discussion as part of a whole-staff meetingor a subject planning meeting.Discussion Card 1Learning intentions that focus on knowledge Knowledge of why something happens(know why voting patterns change across ageranges)Thinking about the different kinds of knowledgethat you wish your students to learn: Knowledge about a particular topic(know about different types of equations) Knowledge of what causes something tohappen(know what causes thunderstorms) Knowledge of how something is done, of thesteps involved in producing something(know how the Spire of Dublin wasconstructed)Develop some learning intentions on knowledgefor one of your own classes using this guideDiscussion Card 2Learning intentions that focus on skillsIn developing learning intentions that focus onskills you might find it helpful to start with thewords ‘to be able to’ followed by a verb. To be able to experiment with a range ofgraphic techniques in order to achieve a statedeffectFor exampleDevelop some learning intentions on skills for oneof your own classes using this guide To be able to write a summary To be able to solve a problem using more thanone technique To be able to work as a member of a team To be able to identify persuasive strategies usedin a speech16

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Discussion Card 3Learning intentions that focus on understandingTeachers need to develop the understanding oftheir students by building on their previousknowledge. For instance, a student might be ableto list the signs of global warming - therebyshowing knowledge of them and might also beable to list some impacts of global warming.However, understanding requires that the studentbuilds on his/her knowledge and comes to anunderstanding of the wider causes andconsequences of climate change.For example Understand the causes of the Easter Rising Understand the effects of a balanced diet onhealth Understand how using emotive language caninfluence an audience Understand what are the most reliable internetsites to be used for research purposesUnderstanding, then builds on the acquisition ofknowledge and in designing learning intentions,teachers ensure that students are exposed to thistype of deeper learning. Understand links between poverty and conflictDevelop some learning intentions onunderstanding for one of your own classes usingthis guide aboveDiscussion Card 4Success CriteriaTo recap then I am looking for everyone to produce a portrait. Good success criteria are closely linked to thelearning intention. I am looking for you to record the results of theexperiment accurately and explain the patternsusing your previous knowledge. They should be easy to understand and writtenin student friendly language I am looking for you to use tone, pitch anddynamics to reflect mood of the poem. They should be discussed and agreed withstudents prior to undertaking the activity I am looking for a computer generated piechart showing the differences between femaleand male preferences based on all the datafrom all of the newspapers provided. They should focus on specific features of the workthat are going to be assessed and on what thestudent is learning rather than what he/she is doing. I am looking for everyone to achieve at least 8out of 10 correct answers.Keeping the above points in mind, discuss each ofthe following success criteria and decide whetherthey would be helpful for the student. Suggestchanges to improve those that are less helpful. I am looking for you to show how you can checkyour prediction of the area by measuring andfinding out if some of the shapes are bigger thanothers or if they take up the same amount of area. I am looking for an essay written with a shortintroductory paragraph and closing paragraph.In addition all the paragraphs except the firstparagraph should start with a clear linkingsentence.17

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Discussion Card 5DiscussLog onto www.juniorcycle.ie and go to Key Skillsvideos. Then under the heading ‘Communicating’click on the English/Media Studies example.What else do you notice about this lesson? Whatare the elements that make it successful? Is thereanything you would do differently?Junior Cycle English/Media studies(4 mins 12 sec)Watch how this teacher sets a clear learningintention and provides criteria for success.Discussion Card 6DiscussSometimes teachers askHow can you ensure that this practice is bothmanageable and meaningful?‘Do I have to do this for every lesson orclass?’ How will I find the time?Or they might say‘I write up the Learning Intention each daybut it doesn’t really mean much to thestudents.’18

PostersThe following pages containposters that can be used as partof a workshop to reinforce theactivities in this booklet.

Learning IntentionsThe benefitsThe qualityof workimprovesBehaviourwill improveStudents willbecome morefocussed on tasksand perseverefor longerThere is richteacher-studentdialogue.Feedbackis easier

SuccessCriteria.must linkclearly to thelearningintentionneed to beplanned inadvanceneed to beowned bythe studentlead to morefocussed andsuccessfulteaching andlearningneed to bebroad enoughto include allabilities in aclass

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01GlossaryLearning OutcomesFormative AssessmentLearning outcomes are statements in curriculumspecifications to describe the understanding, skills andvalues students should be able to demonstrate after aperiod of learning.Assessment is formative when either formal or informalprocedures are used to gather evidence of learningduring the learning process, and used to adapt teachingto meet student needs. The process permits teachersand students to collect information about studentprogress, and to suggest adjustments to the teacher’sapproach to instruction and the student’s approach tolearning. Assessment for learning covers all of theaspects of formative assessment but has a particularfocus on the student having an active role in his/herlearning.Learning IntentionsA learning intention for a lesson or series of lessons isa statement, created by the teacher, that describesclearly what the teacher wants the students to know,understand, and be able to do as a result of learningand teaching activities.Summative AssessmentSuccess CriteriaSuccess criteria are linked to learning intentions. Theyare developed by the teacher and/or the student anddescribe what success looks like. They help the teacherand student to make judgements about the quality ofstudent learning.Assessment is summative when it is used to evaluatestudent learning at the end of the instructional processor of a period of learning. The purpose is to summarisethe students’ achievements and to determine whetherand to what degree the students have demonstratedunderstanding of that learning by comparing it againstagreed success criteria or features of quality.Ongoing AssessmentFeatures of QualityAs part of their classroom work, students engage inassessment activities that can be either formative orsummative in nature. Teachers assess as part of theirdaily practice by observing and listening as studentscarry out tasks, by looking at what they write andmake, and by considering how they respond to, frameand ask questions. Teachers use this assessmentinformation to help students plan the next steps intheir learning. Periodically this assessment will be inmore structured, formalised settings where teacherswill need to obtain a snapshot of the students’ progressin order to make decisions on future planning and toreport on progress. This may involve the students indoing projects, investigations, case studies and/or testsand may occur at defined points in the school calendar.Features of quality are the statements in the subjectspecifications that are used in making judgementsabout the quality of student work for the purpose ofawarding achievement grades for certification. Assuccess criteria are closely linked to learning intentionsand based on the day-to-day processes in theclassroom, student learning will gradually come toreflect the requirements set out in the features ofquality which are used for certification purposes.22

Focus on LearningLearning Intentions & Success Criteria Workshop 01Further ReadingAssessment: The Bridge between Teaching and Learning (Dylan Wiliam, 2013)Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment (Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam, KingsCollege, London, 1998)Embedded Formative Assessment ( Dylan Wiliam, Solution Tree 2011)Formative Assessment in Action (Shirley Clarke, Hodder Murray, 2005)Assessment for Learning: Putting it into practice (Paul Black, Christine Harrison, Clare Lee, Bethan Marshall andDylan Wiliam, OUP, 2003)Working Inside the Black Box (Paul Black, Christine Harrison, Clare Lee, Bethan Marshall and Dylan Wiliam, KingsCollege, London, 2002)Mathematics Inside the Black Box (Jeremy Hodgen and Dylan Wiliam, NferNelson, 2006)English Inside the Black Box (Bethan Marshall and Dylan Wiliam, NferNelson, 2006)Assessment for Learning: Mark less to achieve more (Ian Smith, Learning Unlimited, 2003)Science Inside the Black Box (NferNelson, 2006)Visible learning for teachers: Maximising impact on learning (John Hattie, Routledge 2012)Useful WebsitesAssessment ToolkitKey Skills videosWatch this example of a teacher setting a clear learning intention and criteria for successDylan Wiliam’s websiteAssociation for Achievement and Improvement through AssessmentKings College Assessment GroupCredit: NCCA wishes to acknowledge and express gratitude to The Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, Northern Ireland(www.rewardinglearning.org.uk) and Education Scotland (www.journeytoexcellence.org.uk) for use of materials in these booklets.Published by the NCCA, September 201523

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Focus on Learning Learning intentions & success Criteria Workshop 1 8 activity 2: From doing to learning When discussing learning intentions it is important to focus on what students would have learnt by the end of the lesson or activity i.e. what is