Eve Lappalainen, Lecturer in Mathematics Education
The Goal Indicator
What is it all about?
Assessment is the most important factor guiding student learning. Therefore, it must be transparent: students need to know what a grade or final evaluation of a particular unit is based on and what they have to do in order to achieve the grade they want.
Each student's learning process is unique. Others need more and others less time to attain goals and to grasp learning content. In this case, it is important that teaching allows personalized learning and that students can progress towards the set goals at their own pace.
The Goal Indicator is a tool that allows the student to gain a complete understanding of what they are aiming to learn. They also form an understanding of what they need to learn in order to achieve their own goals. The student themself chooses what they want to pursue during each learning unit and progresses systematically towards these goals using the indicator, knowing what grade and final evaluation they will eventually get.
Developing the Goal Indicator began when it was noticed that the best results are not achieved by teaching all students the same contents with the same main goals and that not all students need to reach the same skill level. Students can also have personalized goals, and the task of the teacher is to create a possibility for the students to differentiate their skills.
The Goal Indicator has been developed for high school mathematics education, but it can be applied to other subjects as well, according to the same operating principles.
If a personalized learning path isn’t possible in a subject or course, the Goal Indicator will then function as a criterion for assessment only. As a student progresses with their studies, they can follow the indicator to see what grade each stage of competence corresponds with.
The following steps will help you create a Goal Indicator for your own lessons.