One of the most important aspects of planning--whether for a unit or a lesson--is that of learning targets. The creation of learning targets is the time when teachers determine what it is that students will actually learn how to do during the unit or lesson, and this endeavor sets the entire aspect of planning into motion. EVERYthing emanates from the targets. In their seminal book, Understanding by Design (2005), Wiggins and McTighe include this component of planning in Stage 1 of their three defined stages. Determining meaningful, easy to understand learning targets is one of the most important things that teachers can do as designers of potential learning experiences.

The link at the bottom of this page will take you to a rich repository of information about the importance of learning targets. Among them is an overview document that discusses learning targets in detail. Its sections include the following:
  • What are Learning Targets?
  • Learning Targets and Lesson Planning
  • Learning Targets and Student Motivation
  • Learning Objectives versus Learning Targets
  • How to Use Learning Targets
  • Learning Targets and Other Stakeholders

Besides this document, you will find a video through which you can hear the voices of teachers and students as the talk about the power of learning targets. There is also a video viewing guide as well an an infographic and a teacher presentation. A hearty "thank you" to the collaborative team of STARTALK (National Foreign Language Center, University of Maryland) and AdvanceLearning for making these resources possible.

Learning Targets