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September 18th, 2013
How ed tech can help with Student Learning Objectives
Here are five ed-tech considerations for a successful Student Learning Objectives program.
Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) have gained tremendous momentum in K-12 education over the last 15 years and hold great promise for improving student learning.
An SLO is an academic goal for a student or a group of students that is focused on the most important course content. SLOs are set at the beginning of a course, after a teacher has reviewed historical student data and administered a baseline assessment. This specific, measureable objective for student academic growth is tracked through formative assessment throughout the year, as the educator engages in aligned professional development and implements strategies designed to improve student learning. At the end of the instructional interval, the student is assessed through summative assessment.
In several states—including Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio—Student Learning Objectives are now being used in educator evaluations as well. The number of students who meet or exceed the stated objective is used to calculate an effectiveness rating for the educator. This rating is then used as one of several measures for educator performance evaluation. Evaluation results are used to make decisions regarding pay, placement, tenure, employment, and professional development.
Most states and districts place a great deal of emphasis on the development of Student Learning Objectives. However, little emphasis typically is given to building the ed-tech infrastructure to support the implementation of these learning objectives, or to managing crucial tasks that must be accomplished for thousands or tens of thousands of SLOs to be implemented with fidelity.
Here are five ed-tech recommendations to prepare for a full-scale SLO implementation: