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LEOTC - Learning experiences outside the classroom. Ministry of Education.

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Learning Story template

The Learning Story template is intended to allow LEOTC providers and schools to create their own Learning Stories.

The template has been developed on the basis of best evidence of learning research in LEOTC environments both nationally and internationally. It has been widely circulated for comments and feedback, and formatted with the teachers and students (the end users), meaningfully taken into account.

It is important to emphasise that the aim of the Learning Stories template is: “to showcase the process of LEOTC as an effective curriculum support tool for teaching and learning". The aim therefore is not to develop a tool for measuring aspects of learning or curriculum outcomes in LEOTC environments.

The MARVEL project has been particularly valuable in the development of the research tools, as it shared the aim of having tools easily utilised by non-expert staff. Therefore, in the development of the Learning Stories research process and tools reference, consultation with members of the MARVEL group was actively sought to concept check the ‘usability’ of the proposed process and tools.

The Learning Story protocol uses:

  • structured interviews
  • observation, including visual and dialogue capture
  • semi-structured interviews.

All participants, including teachers, students, and educators, participate in the process. All elements of the process are able to be completed by the teacher of the class managing the LEOTC visit.

Download templates

The template forms are available by selecting the links below. They are available in Rich Text Format to assist teachers and students to plan their own LEOTC visit.

The documents are organised under three headings:

The learning context

Planning the visit: Curriculum links. The educational justification for the LEOTC visit.

Planning the visit: Teacher/educator conversation. What the teacher expects from the visit: Planning and preparation.

This is a mix of qualitative and quantitative questions between the teacher and the LEOTC educator to establish the curriculum objectives and learning outcomes. This conversation covers how this venue has been chosen, why this venue has been chosen, and how the negotiated learner outcomes process has been managed. Teachers and educators must be clear on the expectation for the visit to effectively support the learning outcomes.

Planning the visit: Students’ voice. What the student expects from the visit: Planning and preparation. Student/teacher conversations as reported by the students (if age appropriate).

These are a mix of qualitative and quantitative questions to at least three students selected in consultation with the teacher (or by the teacher independently) to establish their expectations, level of motivation, interest in the subject, interest in the visit/site, starting point in knowledge for content, past experiences of LEOTC, and what have they been doing (activity) in class.

During the visit

During the visit: Observation. The learning behaviours and learning conversations that took place.

Using the grid of learning behaviours provided in the document, teachers can ‘track’ students whilst on the visit, both in structured and non-structured activities.

This is a combination of dialogue and behavioural indicators and is intended as a guide to capturing learning experiences whilst on the visit. This will demonstrate to other teachers and LEOTC providers the “interactive nature of many aspects of LEOTC programmes [which] provide students with valuable opportunities not only to learn about particular skills, but also to practise these in context". This grid can be used to record the learning of each student.

During the visit: Students’ voice. The students’ view of the visit on the day.

What happened next

After the visit: Teacher’s voice. What happened as a result of the visit.

After the visit: Students’ voice. The students’ views of the visit.

Learning Story images
Photographs can be used throughout the Learning Story to illustrate learning or the Learning Stories can be filmed.

Please ensure all students, teachers and educators have given permission for their images to be used online.
Here’s an example of a permissions form you may wish to adapt and use.


Griffith, Janette, Kelly, Linda, Savage, Gillian, & Hatherly, Janelle. (2005). Museums Actively Researching Visitor Experiences and Learning (MARVEL): A methodological study. Open Museum Journal. 7. November.

Moreland, J., McGee , C., Jones, A., Milne, L., Donaghy, A., & Miller, T. (2005). Effectiveness of programmes for curriculum-based learning experiences outside the classroom. Wellington: Ministry of Education.

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