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Empowering Ownership of Learning through Monitoring Learning Progress and Goal-Setting

Students reflect on their learning data and use it to set goals for academic growth


Goal-setting is a core component of Cisco Junior High School’s blended and personalized approach, providing students with more transparency and ownership of their learning. Goal-setting is a common routine throughout Cisco, creating intentional opportunities for students to reflect on their learning data, although the frequency may vary by classroom (e.g. weekly goals, unit goals, etc.). Goal-setting also has a metacognitive component, helping students understand what they know and don’t know.

Students will often leverage data to set goals. They may reference MAP data, progress from their playlists, or results from a pretest or posttest to determine an upcoming goal. For example, a student might review their posttest, determine they don’t feel comfortable with a skill that they got right, and create a goal centered on improving their understanding of that skill. SMART goals are frequently used as a goal-setting tool for students goals, although they are not the only type of goal used within the school.

Teachers support students in their goal-setting as well. Teachers frequently check in with students through small group interactions, and occasionally individually, to review progress on student goals. If the student has not yet accomplished the goal, then they discuss why and what can be changed to help them succeed. Teachers will also review student data in case there are skills or targeted areas they want to suggest as a goal for a student. Goal-setting check-ins have the benefit of creating additional opportunities to build the relationship between the student and teacher.

Student Does

  • Sets goals based on their learning needs.
  • Monitors progress towards meeting goals.
  • Shares goals and progress with teacher.
  • Sets new goals after completing current goals.

Teacher Does

  • Helps students develop goals relevant to their learning needs.
  • Frequently checks-in with students to monitor progress towards their goals. (Frequency varies by teacher and could be weekly, twice per unit, or other options as well.)
  • Supports students in attaining their goals.

Technology Does

  • Provides progress data (MAP, etc.) that students and teachers can use to identify goals.
  • Provides content and learning activities as possible goals.

Strategy Resources

Student Ownership of their Learning Progress at Cisco

Students at Cisco are encouraged to track their concept knowledge and grades through a color-coding... Learn More

Students Understanding their Learning Progress at Cisco

Students demonstrate their understanding in a variety of ways to show content competency. Learn More

Setting SMART Goals at Cisco

Cisco implements SMART goal-setting for students to achieve specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, and timely goals... Learn More

Cisco Student Goals Schedule

Teachers at Cisco Junior High create a goal setting schedule for 1:1 conferencing with students. Learn More

Cisco Growth Mindset Quiz

Teachers and students at Cisco Junior High use this quiz to assess student mindsets and... Learn More

Cisco Growth-v-Fixed Chart

Teachers and students at Cisco Junior High use this poster to support a growth mindset. Learn More

image of Cisco-Growth-v-Fixed-Chart.jpg
Cisco MAP Student Profile

Students and teachers at Cisco Junior High refer to the NWEA MAP student profiles to... Learn More

Screenshot of MAP Student Profile. At the top is identifying information about a student’s grade level and ID number, as well as tabs for mathematics, reading, language usage, and science. Science is highlighted in the current view. Below the top menu are additional windows of data. One view shows comparisons (98th norms percentile — achievement for this term, ranked against NWEA 2015 Norms Study), Instructional Areas (228 Earth and Space, 229 Organisms and Environments, 231 Matter, Energy, Force, and Motion), Growth Goals (Spring 2018 - customized the growth target for this student by setting a growth goal, winter 2018 goal actual: 229, goal: 214, score when set: 210 (fall 2017), growth met); and a chart of growth over time.