Visible learning is an approach to education that focuses specifically on the elements of the teaching and learning process that have the greatest positive impact on student achievement. Visible learning comes from the work of Professor John Hattie.
The major argument presented in this work is that when teaching and learning are visible, there is a greater likelihood of students reaching higher levels of achievement. Making teaching and learning visible requires an accomplished 'teacher as evaluator and activator', who knows a range of learning strategies to build the students' surface knowledge, deep knowledge and understanding, and conceptual understanding. The teacher needs to provide direction and redirection in terms of the content being understood, and thus make the most of the power of feedback. The teacher also needs to have the skill to get out of the way when learning is taking place and the student is making progress towards meeting the criteria against which successful learning will be judged. Visible teaching and learning also require a commitment to seeking further challenges (for the teacher and for the student) – and herein lies a major link between challenge and feedback, two of the essential ingredients of learning. The greater the challenge, the higher the probability that one seeks and needs feedback, and the more important it is that there is a teacher to ensure that the learner is on the right path to successfully meet the challenge.
The conclusions in Visible Learning were cast as six signposts towards excellence in education, as follows.