Learning targets, competencies, outcomes–these are all ways of describing how teachers define what it is that students need to know. The basic premise of outcomes-based assessment is that teachers need to be able to define explicitly, in language their students can understand and adopt, the key content for which they and their students will be responsible.
What does this focus mean?
For teachers, it means
- focusing on the key elements of curriculum;
- ensuring that every learning activity, inside and outside the classroom, maps back to the key elements;
- providing opportunities for students to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of modalities;
- collaborating up and down grade levels to build coherence of vocabulary and expectations;
- revising and revisiting learning targets in the context of the Common Core standards and other developments
For students, outcomes-based assessment means
- being clear on what teachers expect for success;
- being prepared to demonstrate what they know;
- taking responsibility for what they don’t yet know;
- taking initiative to achieve proficiency and high performance.