A learning contract is an agreement developed by the student and instructor providing achievement goals that the student will attain during a set period of time with a given amount of input by the instructor.

Goals & Objectives

The contract itself is a way of setting goals and objectives. It can serve as a refinement of general objectives given for the course, specifying how goals will be achieved.

Materials and Resources

The instructor provides instructions.

What does the student need to bring to the lesson? – A willingness to learn.

Guiding Questions for this Lesson

What are the personal goals of the student and how can they best be met in a partnership with the instructor?

Lesson Outline and Procedure

  • In general, students are provided with instructions for how to formulate a learning contract at the beginning of a course or unit of activity.
  • The student then negotiates the contract with the instructor.
  • Fulfillment of that contract can be built into a summative assessment for the course or unit.

Teaching Strategies

  • Provide examples
  • Carefully explain the student responsibility to complete the contract.


What accommodations may be needed for students with disabilities or other special needs? This lesson requires few if any accommodations. Most text to speech and speech to text programs can function within most asynchronous discussion tools. The bandwidth requirements are also low. The contract itself can serve as a negotiation of accommodations that will be made on future assessments.


Learning contracts are generally completed in under an hour, but may require negotiation time. They are usually completed at the beginning of a course or unit of activity.

Ideas for Lesson Evaluation and Teacher Reflection

How did the students like the lesson? End of semester evaluations should ask about the usefulness and learning accomplished through such activities.

How was student learning verified? Here it is a matter of whether or not the student actually completes the learning contract and the points contained within it. The contract is more of a guide for future assessments and their weights.