Learning Stories


Learning stories are an assessment tool used to describe a child’s learning process and are also a way of documenting that learning. Using a storytelling format (known as a ‘narrative’) to capture the meaningful elements which influence a child’s learning process.  Learning stories are not the same as case studies or running records about children—they are narratives or stories and they need to be a good tale. A good story will have a beginning, middle and end. The story should include details about the context and background to engage the reader. Good stories not only describe actions they also make feelings and interpretations visible. The stories will tell what children ‘can do’ rather than what they can’t do.

The elements which can be described in a child’s learning story include:

  • Interests, strengths and achievements
  • Skills, knowledge and feelings
  • Interactions with peers and adults
  • Family, heritage, culture and community

Learning Story Format:

  • Learning Story (What happened?)
  • Review of Learning (What learning took place here?)
  • What next (Next learning steps)

Read more about Learning Stories


Sample Learning Story - written by teacher and rolled out to whole class.




Creating Learning Stories for your class or students in your class


Learning Stories are created after a student or group of students have been involved in a learning experience. They can be written by the teacher or students can write their own learning stories as they get older.


  1. Go to the  learning_stories_link.GIF  link in your class/group navigator
  2. Click add_ls_button.GIF button to create a new Learning Story.
  3. Configure the following options:
    • Title: Title of the Learning Story e.g. Science Fair
    • Key Competency: e.g.Thinking
    • Aspect of Key Competency:  e.g. Developing an understanding of the fair testing process.
    • Groups: Your class should be selected by default
    • Years: This is optional and only if you wish to restrict to specific year level within your class.
    • Students: Use this to select individual children (ctrl or shift on your keyboard) – optional.
    • Start Date: Available for students to update
    • Caregiver Date: Make available for caregivers to comment
    • End Date: Close story so no more edits can be made.
    • Number of student peers able to comment: Choose from drop down list
    • Students can edit their own story box: tick this box if you require students to write their own Learning Story. If you are writing the learning story don't tick so that students can't change the contents of the story. 

  4. Contents to pre-fill story box: Click edit to write the learning story. 
  5. Click template1.GIF  in the text editor menu bar and select a Learning Story template to pre-fill the story box. Then begin writing the story for the students. If students writing their own story, enter some questions to prompt student reflection.

  6. Use the text editor to modify the template and click save.GIF to update your story.
  7. Click save.GIF  to roll out Learning Story to selected students.


If working with younger students, try writing the learning story with the students. Get the students to contribute to the story and remember to use direct quotes!


Once the story is rolled out student, peers and caregivers will be able to add comments.


Students Commenting on a Learning Story

Once rolled out students are able to add comments to a learning story. To do this they must be logged in.


  1. Click on the learning_stories_link.GIFlink in your personal navigator. A list of Learning Stories will appear.
  2. Click open_button.GIF to view specific Learning Story
  3. Now click Action > Add Comment

  4. Type the comment in My Comment box

  5. Click save.GIF. Comment will appear below Learning Story


Teacher Commenting on Learning Story

You can post comments on student submissions. To do this:

  1. Go to My Zone > Manage Assessments > Learning Stories. A list of open learning stories will appear.
  2. Above the specific Learning Story select Action > View Student Submissions.

  3.  A list of students in your class will appear. Click open.GIF next to the student name and a copy of the students Learning Story will open.
  4. Click Action > Add Comment  type your comments and save.GIF
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