Teaching Strategy Tip #16

Explain Goals for Performance*

Strategy: Providing explicit goals and criteria for performance

Objective: Prevent students from misinterpreting criteria or misunderstanding goals in what they need to do and learn


  • Provide concrete or directive instructions:
    • Recognize when a key concept is at issue
    • Explain the key concept to solve problems or understand a process
    • Explain the key concept to a particular audience
  • Create a rubric and share it with students.
    • Include the levels of the quality of work produced and
    • Extend students’ knowledge of the qualities associated with good work

Source: http://fc.short.cm/ExplainGoalsForPerformance

Technique benefits:

  • Students gain an understanding of the exercise or activity as knowledge acquired and skill practiced. The performance goals are defined in terms of challenges for students to do
  • Explanation of performance goals can lead to discussion of challenges that are normal, including understanding misconceptions
  • Students’ understanding of performance goals leads to more concrete specifications that students can more easily interpret correctly
  • Clearly specified performance criteria can help direct students’ practice and ultimately their learning (p. 129)


  • Students’ performance can be monitored and measured (by instructors as well as students themselves), which enables the provision of feedback to help students refine their performance or learning (p. 129).

* Based on strategies suggested by Ambrose et al., 2010

Source:  http://fc.short.cm/ExplainGoalsForPerformance