Global feedback for your form submissions on item 2.3

Great ideas to share from the participants’ responsesAddressing questions and concerns raised by participants
Some participant answers to the question Which specific strategies mentioned in the teacher presentation caught your attention? Why?Only activities or in class tasks that reflect the lesson targets are the right ones to do in the daily lesson. I also like that teachers should introduce the lesson targets by real life situation. Sometimes, students can easily lose interest in hearing about lesson targets. If teachers use real life examples to show the importance of mastering a particular learning target, students would pay more attentions and commit themselves in achieving the learning targets.In the future, when I write my learning targets, I need to be sure to they are connected to previous lessons and to future knowledge that students will develop.Learning Targets should be shared to students intentionally on a day-to day basis. It’s important to engage students every day.Using the learning target to guide instruction is very important to me because it prevents confusion for the student and the teacher.What caught my attention were as follows: (1) have learning targets for each year, each lesson, and each class; (2) make the learning targets clear to students; (3) design activities that are tied to the learning targets; and (4) provide assessment to test if the learning targets have been met.I will first, re organize my syllabus to break down what learning targets would be achieved by each activity. I will also try and organize more effective practice activities for students to acquire language more effectively.I think I will be more mindful of the importance of setting learning targets at the unit as well as lesson level. Also, I will make sure these targets are shared with students and referenced throughout the class duration.One participant asked, “what assessments are best used for learning target to teach language for beginners , formal or informal?” If I understand the question correctly, the answer is actually BOTH formal and informal. We do informal (formative) assessments on an on-going basis and it is the evidence we see from those formative assessments that lets us know whether students are ready for the formal assessment or if reteaching and additional practice (and additional formative assessments) are necessary.
Some responses to the question, “You will be teaching in an online setting. How will you ensure your learners know their learning targets and are able to continuously measure their own progress against the learning targets?””Additionally, I will also post the specific learning target to the corresponding learning activity to make students aware why they are doing the activity.” Doing this will also help the student monitor his/her progress towards the larger performance indicators (as well as the more discrete learning targets).”I will reference more to learning targets during the lesson to keep students on track, check their understanding, and set aside a few minutes to allow students to do self-assessments at the end of each lesson.””I will first, re organize my syllabus to break down what learning targets would be achieved by each activity. I will also try and organize more effective practice activities for students to acquire language more effectively.” And the learning targets should prove helpful in terms of selecting or designing activities. “I will ask one or two students to explain the learning target to the whole class after I explain them. Students will be asked to write down the learning targets and also the progress against the learning targets, what they have already can do, what they need to continue to work on, and questions for me. I will periodically check their learning logs.””The LTs will be included in the PowerPoint presentation. I will read the LTs to students. Let students tell me the LTs.””I will start each lesson by stating the related learning target and will remind the students at the end of each lesson of them as well.”I might apply the information in this module to my teaching situation by writing the learning targets on a small white dry-erase board if I have to move around teaching students in different rooms.Of the top, it can be a good idea to arrange for unit and lesson learning targets to be included on the course website such for every unit there is an overview video followed with a list of the learning targets for that particular unit. Following that, each unit is broken down into daily lesson; again here a list of learning targets for each lesson is included. Finally, to make sure students can track their own progress again the unit/lesson learning targets, an exit ticket activity can be build in where students check their progress towards proficiency in reference to that specific unit learning targets.Clarify the learning objective at the beginning of the class, and create brief checklists at the end of each unit for them to evaluate their learning.I will add a ‘Pod’ on Adobe Connect where I will use English to share the learning targets with my learners before the class. After finishing a few learning episodes, I will restate the learning targets and check with students to see if they are on the track.One participant said, “…students in my online class can only see me on a TV monitor, it will be challenging to always make the targets visible due to the space.” I would recommend posting the learning targets in the course syllabus, on the course calendar, and/or using the mail or announcements feature in your online course platform to occasionally send the targets to the students.”Do I need to tell the learning targets to my K-5 students? The contents are songs and some stories.” Actually, yes. When you choose songs and stories, you are doing so with particular purpose in mind; there is something you want your learners to be able to do after having experienced those songs and stories. Try looking at the Novice Low and Novice Mid “example can-do statements” for the Interpretive mode for some ideas. The Can-do statements are available in Course Resources. Remember to go past the performance benchmarks and look for the “Example Can-do Statements.””Learning targets probably would not always be met in each class, especially due to students misbehaving/classroom management or tech problems (e.g.bad internet connection for online classes). How flexible can we be when designing the learning targets, what are the alternatives?” It is true that you may have started class with a particular learning target in mind and ultimately, the class may not achieve it that day. This can happen for a variety of reasons. I always found it important (and most successful) to do what my students need. If that means carrying over the learning target to the next day, I do. When a target doesn’t work because the behaviors kept the students from progressing, I look at two things: my lesson design and also the targets themselves. Often, when I was a full-time mentor to beginning teachers, classroom management difficulties came from one of those two factors. For lesson design, sometimes teachers miss a step in their planning, leaving the students confused. Rather than say they are confused, they might act inappropriately. OR, teachers sometimes accidentally selected a target that wasn’t appropriate for that group of students at that time. Usually, when this happened, it was too hard and the students hadn’t yet learned everything they needed to learn to accomplish it. Again, instead of realizing that and saying it, students often respond by acting out.”Can students get tired and bored by learning targets? Will it become annoying to college students to constantly remind them what they will be learning in the next 40-50 minutes?” So far, I have actually never heard of that being a problem. Usually, they appreciate knowing up front what they will be learning and how they will be assessed on that learning. “is there a different way we can get college students involved with creating can do statements? In other words, do age differences create a factor in how we deal with can do statements?” Actually, even for students younger than college, they can be involved in self-selecting some learning targets. They will first need to understand proficiency levels and the modes and then, you can provide them with some appropriate “example can-do statements” for the appropriate mode and proficiency level and allow them to tell you what their learning goals are. It can be a powerful way to personalize instruction.”My question is do we need to develop learning targets for a review lesson.” Not exactly–you just restate the original learning target(s) from the first time and remind them that at this point, they should be trying to show you and themselves that they can now achieve this without difficulty.”Can learning targets cover two class sessions, or does it have to be for each class meeting? Sometimes we are working on a very long text that we can not finish in one class meeting.” Yes, actually, they can roll over into subsequent days. It’s more important to give the students what they need than to change learning targets every day. 🙂 “How do I make space for students to assess their attainment of learning targets, and reflect on ways to improve their learning?””I am still little bit confused about wording the learning targets in way that reflect real life communication. I believe that they need to; however, sometimes I see learning targets that do not necessarily reflect real life communication. For example, in this presentation the speaker has this one: I can tell you what clothes I wear for different types of weather and why”. I can’t think of a real world interaction where one needs to do this; for me it seems artificial. What you think?”You are right that you should always select or design learning targets that are relevant and represent authentic communication experiences. One time people would demonstrate the learning target you stated is when packing for a trip and talking with (and asking) siblings/parents about what to bring. Often this conversation ends up including a sentence such as, “I’m bringing a raincoat because it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.” this is what I’m going to wear and also why I’m going to wear it and it is a very normal sentence that you could hear someone saying in English.”‘I can understand, say, and read 12 words of this lesson related to clothes“. I know this does not sound like a good learning target, but I really want my students to master the vocab first before we move on. What should I word the LTs if the focuses are on vocab or grammar points?”Because in “normal conversations,” we don’t tell people to please provide “10 words,” for example, we try not to do that in our learning targets. The current philosophy in the world language field is that the learning targets should sound like language the way it is used. Then, it is up to the teacher to provide the content the students will need to achieve that learning target. If the students will need those 12 words, you will make them part of the lesson, the practice, and the assessment and students will still have demonstrated that they are attaining the target.”The only question I have about learning targets now that I have watched the teacher presentation video is are we supposed to differentiate questions in one classroom where students are not at the same level?”We all have multiple levels so your question is probably shared by others. In the case of large differences in proficiency, I actually have provided students with differentiated learning targets that are appropriate to their various levels.”I want to know more about how to make specific child friend learning targets. I also think it is not easy to have that clear targets each day. Also I want to know more about the connection between unit learning targets and daily learning targets.”For your first question, I would start with the novice low and mid learning targets from ACTFL because they are pretty easy to understand. As you use them more, you will become comfortable with adding your own customized targets.For your second question, many teachers use the performance indicators as unit targets because they encompass the lesson-specific can-do statements (learning targets) beneath them.”According to back-ward design, should we have our year-end learning targets first, then semester-long learning targets, followed by lesson learning targets?”Yes! In fact, I did year-end, then unit, then lesson.”The design of the activities and learning target takes a lot of creativity, is there a effective way to make them without exhausted teachers?”Start with the ones already provided by ACTFL so that you don’t have to design. You only have to select. 🙂 “I am wondering how much time do we need to spend when we introduce and share the learning targets with students. What’s more, a learning objective is more complicated and general than learning targets, but it provides a holistic context for a unit. Should we introduce the learning objective first then sharing the small chunks of learning targets, or should we save it until the end of a unit for checking understanding and self-assessment ?”One of the best practices is to give students a document at the start of the unit that provides the unit’s targets, followed by each of the lesson-specific topics. when I do this, I also provide short descriptions of the assessments that students will complete to demonstrate their accomplishment of the learning targets. Ultimately, we don’t want the targets to be a mystery. Part of the power behind learning targets is that sharing them at the beginning is a big reason why they work for our learners. Here is an example for one of my French classes (Links to an external site.). It provides the unit learning targets for the lesson, how they will be assessed and the necessary grammar and vocabulary students will learn and practice in order to become proficient at them. Then, each day in class, I put that day’s lesson-specific learning targets on the board.”How can we elaborate on “target statements”? What if there are more gifted students and they would want to know more than just the “can do statements” of the LT. Also, what if some of the students are not interested in that particular “LT” that we have created?”You can actually provide differentiated learning targets for your learners. :-)You can even engage your learners in helping select targets. Maybe you start by choosing a set of targets across the modes that you think are appropriate and beneficial for their level and then give them a survey to see which ones they really value. You may still have to include some targets that the students did not select because they are essential for their continued growth in proficiency, but ultimately, they will see what they valued included throughout the year.
Regarding how learning targets might help motivate and engage learners, participants said:Students become more active participants in their learning when they are motivated to reach meaningful learning targets.Since learning targets are relevant to learners’ lives and minor the real word tasks, they can be more interested in learning activities. In addition, learning targets allow students to focus their energy on very specific and manageable tasks, so students could feel more attainable towards the learning and grow a sense of accomplishment. According to Robert Marzano, students who can identify what they are learning outperform those who cannot.Students will know what they are going to do (the activities will be relevant & meaningful), how to reach the proficiency objectives, which help engage the students.The participant above brought up a critical point: if students know (and see evidence through the course) that there is always coherence between the learning targets they were told at the beginning and the instruction, practice and assessment activities that follow, they learn that the work they will do in the course will always be relevant and they won’t ever feel like the assessments were a “trick” to see what they did NOT know. When students know the LTs, they can build the connection to their lives, they will be more motivated, they will keep themselves on track.Exactly! They not only help with teaching and learning, but to a certain extent, they even help with classroom management, as long as there is always a clear connection between the target, the instruction, the practice and the assessment as noted above.They develop learners’ autonomy in language learning. They keep them motivated each lesson because they are able to understand the sequence and where they are going in their journey with learning the language. They make the language meaningful because they focus on what the learning can do with the language. 

Scroll to Top