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Success Criteria

What Is It?

  • Chunking process and content standards into manageable learning targets
  • Making learning targets visible for students and creating opportunities for students to make meaning of the target
  • Ensuring students understand how activities in the classroom relate to the learning targets
  • Using backwards design to plan instruction and activities that guide learners to the target 
  • Using process-focused criteria during instruction and task-specific rubrics or product-focused criteria at the end of instruction 


Clearly share learning targets with students and create varied opportunities for students to meet the learning target


Take ownership in learning by knowing learning targets and articulating how they are working toward understanding.

How Can I Implement In the Classroom?

Outline content and process standards for units and chunk standards into manageable learning targets

Phrase learning targets using student-friendly language (e.g. "I can...")

Share learning targets with students in multiple ways throughout the learning process providing opportunities for students to interact with the learning targets
Examples include:

Rephrasing standards/targets in their own words
Reflecting on progress and next steps
Complete self-assessments using rubrics

Design activities with specific learning targets in mind

Create and share rubrics for learning that align with content and process standards and provide students with models of exemplary work

Classrooms in Action



Sharing Success Criteria in a Primary Classroom 


Creating Success Criteria with Students - Elementary




Co-Constructing Success Criteria


Discovering Voice - Developing Success Criteria


John Hattie - Learning Intentions and Success Criteria


Why Does It Work?

"Learning targets have no inherent power. They enhance student learning and achievement only when educators commit to consistently and intentionally sharing them with students. Meaningful sharing requires that teachers use the learning targets with their students and students use them with one another. This level of sharing starts when teachers use student-friendly language—and sometimes model or demonstrate what they expect—to explain the learning target from the beginning of the lesson, and when they continue to share it throughout the lesson. Here are two powerful ways to do that."

"Knowing Your Learning Target" Connie M. Moss, Susan M. Brookhart and Beverly A. Long

Digital Tools That Work

Activities That Work