What are Student Learning Objectives?

Excellent teachers regularly set learning goals for their students and use a variety of data sources to monitor progress towards these goals throughout the year. The Student Learning Objectives process aims to capture this best practice as a means to allow teachers and teacher appraisers to determine and reflect on a teacher’s pedagogical strengths and areas for growth.

SLO Process Overview

Student Learning Objectives are:
Student growth goals Set by teachers Focused on a foundational student skill that is developed throughout the curriculum Tailored to the context of individual students Designed to help teachers better understand the impact of their pedagogy For the purposes of refining instruction.

Why use Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)

as a Measure of Student Growth?

SLOs drive both teacher practice and student learning by strengthening instruction. The use of SLOs has been associated with improved student outcomes on standardized assessments. Teachers crafting SLOs report improved understanding of how to use data to determine student needs and to measure progress toward goals. SLOs encourage collaboration among teaching peers as well as between teachers and their appraisers. And, SLOs encourage the adoption of a long-term vision for student learning and contribute to more meaningful discussions about vertical planning.

The SLO Process represents a continuous cycle of improvement embodied in strong teaching practice. Teachers and their appraisers will use SLOs to design strategies to meet their goals for student success, beginning with planning and leading to thoughtful instructional design and delivery. Throughout the year, teachers will collect evidence of student learning and adjust instruction accordingly. At the end of the cycle, teachers will reflect on outcomes and plan to refine their practice for the following year.

SLO Overview

Student Learning Objectives provide an effective process for improving instructional practices by encouraging thoughtful, deliberate, and evidence-based decisions that should ultimately result in improved student learning.


Check out the documents, videos and training modules.

Sample SLOs

Need to see some samples of SLOs that other teachers have created?