Goals define a purpose for learning. Goal setting is highly linked to motivations, specifically if the learner and not someone else creates the goal. Goal setting is often shown to improve both academic achievement and student engagement.
In order to help learners, know exactly what they are working towards, the teacher can support students in defining goals and the action steps to achieving those goals.
Benefits of Goal Setting
Through goal setting, students become owners of their learning. They participate in determining their own level of mastery.
- Increased Engagement and motivation
- Supports Problem-Solving
- Builds self-esteem
- Develops ownership or autonomy
- Provides a format for reflection
Processes that Support Goal Setting
Clear specific goals are associated with generating high levels of performance and cultivating an interest in learning. (Klimas, 2017). Therefore, it is helpful to provide students with a format or template that provides the components for well-defined goals.
Consider the following as formats to guide student goal setting.
- The SMART Goal Acronym: SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely
- WOOP Protocol, Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan
- Sentence stems such as: “My goal is ________. I will reach my goal by _________. My plan to reach my goal is to ________.”