Aligning Competencies

Key Points to Follow When Aligning Learning Goals to Competencies


  • A Learning Goal should be something a student can do, or something a student should know.

  • A Learning Goal should demonstrate an enduring understanding that has been internalized.

  • A Learning Goal should arise organically from the ELO. A goal shoehorned into an ELO will confuse and distract the student from the bigger picture.

  • To uncover a Learning Goal:

    • Examine the standard/competency.

    • Ask, “What would the student have to do for me to know he/she has internalized the ability to do this?”

    • Turn the answer to that question into a statement.

    • Example #1

      • English LA Competency for Reading: Students will demonstrate the ability to research, comprehend, integrate, analyze and critique a variety of increasingly complex literary, nonfiction and informational texts within a specific genre.

      • I would know a student could do this if he/she were to find and read a variety of texts related to [the ELO], and if the student used the knowledge gained from those texts to discuss, interpret, select, and synthesize ideas related to [the ELO].

      • Learning Goal #1: The student will compile a reading list of texts related to [the ELO]. (Research)

      • Learning Goal #2: After reading each text, the student will assess the usefulness of the text in relation to [the ELO]. (Comprehend, analyze, critique)

      • Learning Goal #3: For the texts that the student has deemed useful, he/she will create notes summarizing and/or recording key information for later use. (Comprehend, integrate, analyze)

      • Learning Goal #4: The student will integrate the captured information into [the ELO]. (Integrate)

    • Example #2

      • English LA Competency for Language Concepts & Development: Students will demonstrate the ability to understand the origin, development, meaning, and nuanced use of increasingly complex words.

      • I would know a student could do this if he/she properly incorporates the terminology and jargon of [the ELO] into his/her reflections, conversations, products, and presentations.

      • Learning Goal: The student will compile a list of terminology and/or jargon related to [the ELO], and will properly incorporate these terms into his/her reflections, conversations, products, and presentations throughout the ELO.

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