Sharing learning intentions

Teachers communicate what students are learning and why.

What is sharing learning intentions?

Sharing learning intentions allows a teacher to effectively communicate learning goals with students. They allow students to connect new learning to existing knowledge, skills and understanding. When used with success criteria students have a clear idea of the learning goal and how to get there (AERO 2024).

A learning intention is a short statement that clearly explains to students what they are learning.

Effective learning intentions are:

  • aligned to syllabus outcomes and focussed on the concepts and skills being developed in that lesson, or series of lessons
  • developed during planning and shared in ways that make sense to the students
  • referred to throughout a lesson or lesson sequence
  • focussed on what students should learn as a result of the teaching and learning activities
  • used together with success criteria.

What could it look like in the classroom?

  • Digital learning selector: LISC and WAGOLL
  • Using sentence starters such as 'We are learning to' or 'I am learning to' can be useful for some students
  • Teachers use the learning intention throughout the lesson. For instance, they form the basis of:
    • checking for understanding, where the teacher may ask questions relevant to the learning intention, reminding students what they are aiming for as well as indicating their progress towards that goal
    • feedback to students, both from the teacher and peers
    • self assessment as students monitor their own progress towards achieving this goal.

What it isn’t

  • Statements that detail the task/activity rather than the learning
  • Vague statements that don’t make sense to students
  • Developed in isolation from previous learning
  • Routinised in their presentation to students, for example, they do not need to be written into student books at the beginning of each lesson.

Further reading

AERO (Australian Education Research Organisation) (2024) Explain learning objectives, AERO, accessed 16 April 2024.


  • Teaching and learning


  • Explicit teaching

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
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