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Making learning visible: 8 tips and some reflections


As teachers, one of our primary goals is to ensure that our students not only learn but also understand and retain the knowledge and skills we impart. However, assessing student learning can sometimes feel like navigating through a dense fog – unclear and challenging. Thus, making learning visible becomes imperative. When students, teachers, and even parents can see the progress and growth, it not only boosts morale but also informs instructional decisions. So, let's look into strategies that can make the learning journey clear for all stakeholders involved.


1. Learning objectives:

Begin by setting clear and measurable learning objectives for each lesson or unit. When learners know what they are expected to learn, they can better understand their progress towards those goals and focus on developing the necessary skills to achieve them. Clear objectives also serve as a guide for teachers to design effective assessments.

2. Formative assessment:

Incorporate frequent formative assessments throughout the learning process. These assessments provide real-time feedback to both learners and teachers, highlighting areas of strength and areas needing improvement. Formative assessments can take various forms, such as quizzes, polls, exit tickets, or even classroom discussions.

3. Visual representations:

Utilize visual aids to represent learner progress. Progress charts, graphs, or even digital tools can visually depict how learners are advancing towards mastery of a concept or skill. Visual representations make abstract concepts concrete and provide a snapshot of the learning journey.

4. Learners reflections:

Encourage learners to reflect on their learning regularly. Whether through journaling, discussions, or self-assessment rubrics, giving learners the opportunity to reflect on their learning process fosters metacognition and helps them recognize their own growth.

5. Peer feedback and collaborations:

Incorporate peer feedback and collaboration into your classroom practices. Peer review sessions allow learners to learn from each other, identify areas of improvement, and celebrate each other's successes. Additionally, collaborative projects promote collective learning experiences where learners can witness the diverse contributions of their peers.

6. Digital portfolios:

Implement digital portfolios where learners can curate their best work and track their progress over time. Digital portfolios provide a comprehensive view of learners' learning journeys, showcasing their achievements, growth, and areas of development. They also serve as valuable artifacts for learner-led conferences and parent-teacher meetings. In addition, digital portfolios are easy to share with families, which makes them feel included in their children’s learning process and constantly informed of their progress.

7. Goal setting:

Empower learners to set their own learning goals. By involving them in the goal-setting process, they take ownership of their learning and become more invested in their progress. Encourage learners to set both short-term and long-term goals, and regularly revisit and revise these goals based on their progress.

8. Celebrating milestones:

Celebrate learners' achievements and milestones along the way. Whether it's mastering a difficult concept, achieving a personal best on an assessment, or demonstrating growth over time, acknowledging and celebrating these accomplishments reinforces learners' motivation and self-confidence.


By implementing these strategies, teachers can make learning visible in their classrooms, providing learners with a clear roadmap of their learning journey and empowering them to take ownership of their education. When learners can see their progress, they are more likely to stay motivated, engaged, and committed to their learning goals.

Remember, making learning visible is not just about the destination; it's about illuminating the path and celebrating the growth along the way.

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