Learning intentions and success criteria: learners' and teachers' views

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Crichton, Hazel ; Mcdaid, Ann (2016)

It is generally accepted that Assessment for Learning (AfL) strategies are effective in teaching and learning. Approaches within this framework include the use of formative feedback, self and peer assessment and setting and discussion of learning intentions (LIs) and success criteria (SC). There has been a great deal of research into AfL strategies, but perhaps less into the way that the use of LIs and SC are actually perceived by teachers and their pupils. The purpose of the research described in this paper was to investigate teachers’ and pupils’ perceptions of AfL strategies, focusing specifically on LIs and SC within lessons. Findings showed that while both cohorts agreed on the usefulness of LIs and SC, in practice they were rarely discussed in class. Teachers displayed a variety of understandings regarding their purpose, and some learners, while appreciating their value for revision purposes, also expressed frustration at the tokenistic way in which they were implemented. The results of this study could be helpful in informing the wider education community about how LIs and SC are viewed by teachers and learners with a view to ensure understandings are consistent with research and policy through focused professional development courses.
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