Definition: Learning progressions are essential tools for understanding students’ progress in their learning as they help to clarify what learning looks like against a mastery scale. In the classroom, learning progressions enable teachers to identify where students are at in their learning and convert student assessment results into meaningful descriptions of their learning progress. Learning progressions also enable students to speak about their own learning in a meaningful way and help them know how to set purposeful goals for where they need to go next.

What Learning Progressions are:

A vertical articulation of what mastery looks like in accessible language for students.

What Learning Progressions are NOT:

How Learning Progressions differ from rubrics:

Learning ProgressionsRubrics
The learning progressions describe the development of a skill over time. These progressions are meant to show the path learners take moving step by step along a continuum of development.The rubrics stem from the learning progressions and are, of course, closely aligned to the student checklists. These rubrics allow teachers to score student learning, based on the corresponding grade level expectations. Rubric scoring is done by adding up scores from components of a student’s skill progress to find a raw score, then converting that raw score into a scaled score.
Development over time The rubrics are designed for on-demand use so that teachers across grades could use the same tool to collect and assess student work and track student growth

Above image from the Cult of Pedagogy


Gonzalez, J. (n.d.). Introducing the HyperRubric: A Tool that Takes Learning to the Next Level. from

Guidance on Rubric Design. (n.d.). from

Hess, K. (n.d.). Developing & Using Learning Progressions as a Schema for Measuring Progress. from

Learning Progression and Rubrics. (n.d.). from

The Role of Learning Progressions in Global Scales. (n.d.). from

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