What is a learning goal?
Learning goals are the answers to the question, “Why am I doing this?”. They explain why we are learning something and give students direction.
They can be thought of as a mini-learning objective and they must be worded in such a way that students can easily see how they will use the content in their own lives.
A good example of a learning goal would be: “I can explain why the Great Depression was one of the most important events in American history.” A bad example would be: “I can explain what happened during the Great Depression.”
Learning goals are not long, descriptive statements that try to describe every aspect of a topic or event. They must be focused on what students need to know and be able to do with that knowledge (Higgins, 2004).
How do you develop learning goals?
Teachers have several ways to develop learning goals for their courses. One way is to use an authentic assessment process, such as an assignment or test. These assessments should give teachers concrete evidence about what students know about a topic and how well they know it.
Why is this important?
The best way to think about learning goals is to consider how they are different from the objectives in your course syllabus. An objective states what students will know and be able to do at the end of a course.
Learning goals, on the other hand, state why we are learning something. When students know why they are learning something, they can more easily apply that knowledge in their own lives.
For example, if you teach students about the surrender of Japan during World War II without explaining why it was important to Indonesian history, you may have confused them by teaching them some information that is not relevant to their lives.
If you teach them about the surrender of Japan during World War II with a learning goal such as “I can explain why the surrender of Japan during World War II was one of the most important events in Indonesian history” then they will understand that it is important because it led to Indonesia's independence from Japan.