Great Schools Partnership

Rhode Island's Applied Learning Standards

Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified is designed to help schools create efficient and effective systems that will ensure all students graduate prepared to succeed in the college, careers, and communities of the 21st century. For this reason, our model is focused on prioritizing and assessing the most critically important knowledge and skills, while also balancing high academic standards with the need for flexibility, responsiveness, and creativity in the classroom.

For proficiency-based learning to be effective, schools and teachers have to prioritize. They will need to determine what knowledge and skills students absolutely need to acquire before they graduate from high school, what content knowledge students need to learn in each subject area, and what essential benchmarks students need to meet as they progress through their education.

Rhode Island’s Grade Span Expectations (adopted 2003) describe what high school graduates should know and be able to do as a result of completing a K–12 educational experience. The Common Core State Standards (adopted 2010) updated the Grade Span Expectations in English language arts and mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards (adopted 2013) updated the Grade Span Expectations for science. Cross-curricular skills are embedded throughout the content-area standards, and the Applied Learning Standards (revised 2005) describe the cross-curricular, skill-based standards students are expected to learn and acquire over the course of their K–12 education. Rhode Island includes the Applied Learning Standards as part of its Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements.

Critical Thinking
The student detects incompleteness, inconsistency, and opportunities for expansion of ideas, products, procedures, etc. and formulates core questions and assertions about topics or areas of interest. In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Identify needs that could be met by new products, services, systems, etc.
  2. Troubleshoot problems
  3. Analyzes the way a product, system service, etc. works taking into account appropriate considerations such as functional, aesthetic, social, environmental, and commercial requirements
  4. Analyze a system, product, service, etc. in terms of completeness and consistency

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Analyze the requirements of a role, responsibility or other type of challenge and use that understanding to shape his or her behavior, activity, and learning

In relation to groups and teams, the student can:

  1. Analyze the purpose of a group and use that understanding to identify functions the group should have or new purposes
  2. Consult with and observe other students and adults to understand their roles in a group, team, or system

Problem Solving
The student organizes and conducts a process to create intellectual or physical products, hold an event, conduct a process, or otherwise move towards the solution of an identified issue or problem. In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Devise strategies that address identified problems in systems of people, technology, or knowledge
  2. Design and create a product that meets an existing need or creates a new opportunity or capacity
  3. Plan and organize the implementation of a strategy designed to solve a problem or address and issue
  4. Adjust strategies, plans, and implementation as needed to incorporate new understanding or requirements
  5. Develop tests and strategies for putting procedures, protocols, and systems back in operation or to improve their performance

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Use what he or she learns from various sources of information (written, conversational, observation, etc.) to identify ways to improve his of her self-management abilities
  2. Use what he or she learns from various sources of information to plan, conduct, and monitor projects and other goal-directed activities
  3. In relation to groups and teams, the student can:
  4. Clarify or develop roles and responsibilities that enhance the effectiveness of a group or team
  5. Develop and implement schedules that enhance the effectiveness of a group or team

Research
The student uses information tools and technology to learn and deepen his or her understanding about a topic or area of interest. In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Establish and use criteria for identifying relevant and credible information
  2. Identify potential sources of information relevant to a purpose and context
  3. Analyze information with respect to its origin, internal coherence, usefulness, and limitations
  4. Interpret the meaning and relevance of information in relation to a particular purpose, project, or activity
  5. Find and use information to develop an understanding of the way systems of people, technology, or knowledge work
  6. Appropriately use a variety of sources of information

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Consult with and observe others (students, teachers, advisors, etc.)
  2. Identify goals for the development of behavior, learning, and other activities
  3. Seek and respond to the advice and criticism of others

In relation to groups and teams, the student can:

  1. Find information about group or team process (protocols for establishing responsibilities, connecting roles, conducting activities, etc.) that helps a real group or team operate more effectively
  2. Find information about what the group or team is attempting to accomplish that helps the group or team achieve their goal more effectively

Communication
The student questions, informs, and learns from others. In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Recognize the need for information that others (peers, partners, clients, the public, etc.) have
  2. Shape the presentation of information to the needs and interests of a variety of audiences
  3. Explain the structures and infrastructures of systems
  4. Justify choices and decisions made in the development, implementation, and adjustment of problem solving strategies
  5. Appropriately use a variety of media and techniques to communicate about the development, implementation, and adjustment of problem solving strategies
  6. Persuade an informed audience that a solution to a problem is better than other possible solutions
  7. Exercise good judgment about the level of detail necessary to communicate an idea or a set of ideas
  8. Delivers a presentation of work on a problem (approaching the problem, proposing a solution, implementing a solution, or presenting a solved problem) that is coherent in its entirety
  9. Negotiate with clients about product specifications, timelines, etc.

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Identify needs for information she/he has and shape inquiries that produce this information
  2. Develop written and oral approaches to acquiring needed information as well as information in general that enhances the personal effectiveness of the student

In relation to groups and teams, the student can:

  1. Identify the informational needs he or she has in relation to operating effectively in a team, group or organization and use a variety of communication strategies to acquire that information
  2. Consult with, and inform, other members of teams, groups or organizations the student belongs to
  3. Persuade others (members of teams, groups or organizations the student belongs to) about the legitimacy of a course of action, a position, or an activity the group would conduct

Reflection and Evaluation
The student reviews past activity and thinks critically about past activities and plans for the future (Reflection). The student thinks critically about a completed activity or project and uses insights based on the review to change planned activities (Evaluation). In relation to applying and extending content knowledge, the student can:

  1. Evaluate the product, service, system, etc. that results from a problem solving activity in terms of the established criteria or goals established for the outcome
  2. Support her or his evaluation of the effectiveness of a solution to a problem by referring to evidence
  3. Reflect on opportunities for further progress that build upon completed work
  4. Identify pitfalls and other dangers in the future conduct of work from experience gained in solving a problem

In relation to his/her self, the student can:

  1. Critique his or her work in light of expectations established by his or her self
  2. Reflect on the meaning of completed work and identifies opportunities for further progress based on past accomplishments

In relation to groups and teams, the student can:

  1. Critique his or her work in light of expectations established by the group, team, or organization
  2. Evaluate the expectations the group has for itself and its members in relation to the group’s purpose
  3. Reflect on the value of group roles, responsibilities, and procedures

 Download Rhode Island Applied Learning Standards

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