The concept of learning-to-learn has been adopted in response to the new challenges and demands presented for educational assessment by changes at the macro-level of work and society, and at the micro-level of work processes. It refers to the diverse cognitive and affective factors that are central to the application of existing skills to novel tasks and to new learning. Learning-to-learn is formed through good educational practices and accompanies all achievement. Its inclusion as a distinct indicator in assessment would provide a means to analyse the relative role of the different factors affecting student achievement, and help direct schools towards practices and contents that would truly foster lifelong learning.
Learning-to-learn is defined as the competence and the willingness to adapt to novel tasks. A task is seen to activate a complex system of interrelated competencies and beliefs, leading to learning action. The adaptive and voluntary mastery of this learning action through affective and cognitive self-regulation forms the core of learning-to-learn.