College of Science & Engineering

Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education

Learning Goals

There are goals to consider at different levels when changing instructional practice to be more inclusive and student-centered. File Types of Learning Goals.docx describes goals at the course, topic, and lesson-level.

Big Ideas

Learning Progressions

Big Ideas

Planning instruction around the big ideas in the discipline helps instructors and students focus on the important content ideas in the discipline and provides coherence for unit planning. Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe both wrote extensively about the importance of designing instructional units with the big idea in mind using a framework called Understanding by Design (UbD). Grant Wiggins article What Is A Big Idea is useful for defining a big idea in different content areas.

Learning Progressions

Learning progressions are a tool for planning instruction and formative assessment tasks. James Popham defines learning progressions as a carefully sequenced set of building blocks that students must master en route to a more distance curricular aim. Popham's book Transformative Assessment is an excellent resource for understanding learning progressions as a framework for instruction and formative assessment.  

A middle school mathematics resource for teachers Bringing Math Students into the Formative Assessment Equation has an excellent chapter on learning progressions with implications for instructors K-16. 

Learning progression templates are useful for providing a visual trajectory for an instructional unit for both students and instructors and are available with varying numbers of building blocks. The documents below provide information and templates for building individual learning progressions.

File Learning Progression Handout.docx describes the components of a learning progression.

Microsoft Office document icon Constructing a Learning Progression.doc provides step-by-step instructions for building a learning progression.

File Learning Progression Feedback Form.docx is a tool for peers to use in order to provide feedback on the components of another's learning progression.

Microsoft Office document icon 5 block learning progression.doc

Microsoft Office document icon 7 block learning progression.pdf