The Learning Record

Terms in LR Use

Informal White Papers

From the Web to Walden

Joy to the World

Roses, grasses, chicks, and children

An Open Assessment Manifesto

Other Links

Frequently-asked questions


Minimal Marking

Small multiples for tracking work

Sample grading criteria


Sources of Support


Contact Information

Fair Test: The National Center for Fair and Open Testing

Learning Record Lexicon



Absence policy Course-specific rules about the number of absences that will impact a student’s grade or cause failure in the course, as well as whether lateness counts as some portion of an absence. Determined by the instructor, department, or in some cases the institution.
Analysis (Part B) The section of the Learning Record where evidence of learning and achievement found in the observations and work samples is interpreted in terms of the course strands and the dimensions of learning, based on the student’s “starting point” suggested in Part A. This analysis is carried out formatively three times a year for K-12 and summatively once at the end of the year. For college level courses Part B is completed at the midterm (Midterm Analysis, Part B.1) and at the end of the term (Final Analysis, Part B.2). Part B is the shorthand reference.
Archives Collections of Learning Records gathered after the completion of the term and used for moderations, research, professional development, program evaluation and improvement, and educational policy-making. Archived materials do not display information identifying individual students.
Background (Part A) The correct reference for the second section of the Learning Record, consisting of an interview with a parent or caregiver (Part A.1) and information from the student (Part A.2) about his or her background coming into the class. Gathered at the beginning of the term. Part A is the shorthand reference.
Center for Language in Learning, CLL Non-profit organization responsible for research and development, administration, and reporting on the Learning Record for K-12 schools. Once located in El Cajon, California, and now closed. Mary Barr, director.
Center for Language in Primary Education, CLPE Non-profit organization which first developed the Learning Record as the Primary Language Record in London, England. Myra Barrs, director.
Course strands Sometimes called objectives or themes of the course, these are the course-specific areas in which teachers and students can expect to see development over the course of the term. For example, in a class on computers and writing, course strands might include research, rhetoric, technology, and collaboration.
Dimensions of Learning Five interdependent aspects of learning which form fundamental concepts in the Learning Record approach. They include:
  • Confidence and independence
  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Skills and strategies
  • Use of prior and emerging experience
  • Reflectiveness

Dimensions of learning and course strands provide students and teachers with a set of shared concepts about learning to support analysis, reflection, and feedback.

Evaluation (Part C) The section of the Learning Record where the evidence in the Learning Record is compared with the performance scales or the grade criteria to establish the appropriate placement. This evaluation is carried out at the midterm (Midterm Evaluation, Part C.1) and at the end of the term (Final Evaluation, Part C.2). Part C is the shorthand reference.
Exemplars Learning Records or portions of Learning Records from actual students, demonstrating a range of performance and achievement. Exemplars are not “ideal” or “model” Learning Records; they are intended rather to inform teaching, professional development, and assessment.
Grade criteria Course-specific standards of performance determined by the instructor and symbolized for institutional purposes as letter grades (A, B, C, etc.), numbers (90, 80, 70, etc.), or terms (satisfactory/unsatisfactory, pass/fail, credit/no credit, etc.)
Learning Record application, LR 1. The web-to-database application developed at the University of Texas at Austin, now available as a standalone application or plain text form.

2. The development project for the application: “We are seeking funding for the LR.”

3. A particular example: “Have you completed part A of your LR yet?”

Learning Record, LR

1. The model in general: “The Learning Record is based on these principles...”

2. The whole system of documenting student work, coaching, moderations, and research: “The Learning Record process of professional development engages teachers in looking closely at student work.”

3. The printed form used in non-technological settings.

4. A single example: “This student’s Learning Record shows rapid development of collaboration skills.”

Moderation readings, moderations A process for conducting assessment, assuring the quality of teacher’s judgments, and informing teaching practice for professional development. First, any identifying information about the students and the students’ and teacher's evaluations are masked. Several Learning Record exemplars are reviewed and discussed, so that participants can familiarize themselves with the process. Participants then read, in pairs, the completed Learning Records and the student work, and determine from the evidence where they would place the student. They mark their responses on a short form, which is sealed and attached to the Record. There is also a space on the form for providing feedback about the record. Moderation readings are public; students, family members, administrators, other teachers, and policy makers often attend as observers.
Notebook A portion of the Learning Record application used for private notes kept by a student. Cannot be viewed by others.
Observations Brief, dated observations of the student’s activity relevant to the class. Observations indicate the social context and the activity which was observed. They may be added by either the teacher or the student.
Parent Interview (Part A.1) The first subsection of the Background (Part A), consisting of a summary of the interview with a parent or caregiver about the student’s background in areas relevant to the class.
Peer moderations Also called “In-class moderations.” Moderation readings in which pairs of students read and respond to Learning Records prepared by classmates. Typically completed at midterm.
Performance scales, developmental scales Synonymous terms. Scales consisting of descriptions of patterns of activity typically seen as students move through stages of development. Currently there are validated performance scales in reading and writing for K-12; math scales are currently being validated.
Samples of Work, Work Samples Anything relevant to the class produced by the student. For example, notes, diagrams, and drafts can be used as work samples, as well as finished projects. Informal communications such as email with peer collaborators, participation in discussion forums, MOO transcripts, and even work completed for a different class may demonstrate the application of emerging experience, skills, or knowledge. Conventional measures, including quiz scores, exams, and even standardized test scores may be included as data here.
Student Information Demographic information gathered in the first section of the Learning Record, including the student’s name, ID number, and other relevant information, such as languages spoken, read, and written. Information identifying individual students is only available to the student’s teacher. Student Info is the shorthand reference.
Student Interview (Part A.2) The second subsection of the Background (Part A), consisting of the student’s account of his or her background in areas relevant to the class.

The Learning Record | © 1995-2014 M. A. Syverson

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