As we head into 2023, many of us may be thinking of setting some personal goals.
We encourage you to also take a moment to consider the power of getting your students involved in their own academic goal setting - a powerful, but largely underutilized Motivational Principle of Learning.
The main tenets of goal setting are:
- When students get involved in goal setting for their own learning, they learn more.
- Student goal setting will not happen by itself. Teachers have to do something to facilitate the process.
- Student goal setting does not automatically lead to increased student performance. Certain conditions and properties need to be part of the process.
- Students will need guidance about setting goals that are:
- Challenging but attainable
- Written down
- Able to be accomplished in the near term
- Owned by the student: reflect desire and commitment of the student to work on the goal.
- Revisited with progress assessed and evaluated by the student
A common misconception about getting students to set goals is that teachers relinquish control over making assignments and students choose what they will study. Instead it means that student goals are set around personal commitments they make to improving speed, quantity, or quality in some aspect of their work or performance.