Vol 5 . . . No 4 . . . December, 1995

The Centrality of Clear Goals and Outcome Statements

Just what is it we wish our students to be able to accomplish using these new technologies? Is it enough that they spend time with computers? Can we be satisfied with drill-and-kill ILS (integrated learning systems)? Are we after 100 WPM keyboarding skills?

Why are we spending all this money?

In many previous articles and several books I have argued strenuously for the primacy of student learning as a focus for a district technology plan. Unless the student outcomes are stated with specificity, it is easy for the technology program to wander hither and yon, never fulfilling any especially significant purposes.

I was drawn to the Bellingham Public Schools because a staff committee had drawn up a Technology Plan which paid far more attention to student learning than to hardware. It stated three clear learning priorities (communicating, analyzing data and solving problems), and listed student outcomes by level of the district.

Go by Web to Bellingham Public Schools Technology Plan

Clear goals and outcome statements lead naturally to authentic and deep assessment. The assessment instruments we have constructed match the outcomes, and as we begin to gather and analyze data on what students can accomplish, we apply the resulting insights to program changes.

The Sad and Sorry State of Technology Program Assessment---Hypotheses for the Sad and Sorry State---Why Bother? What's the Pay-Off?---The Centrality of Clear Goals and Outcome Statements---Assessment for Navigation---Self-Assessment Instruments---Performance Assessment Instruments---When all is said and done---Resources

Return to December, 1995

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