Designing Goal Setting Activity

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Introduction Goal Setting Process Exercise Designing Goal Setting Activity Practice

Designing A Goal Setting Activity[edit | edit source]

Now you have learned what goal setting process is, why it is important, what taks goals and process goals are, and what tips are there for successful goal setting.
So now it is time for to you wear instructor's hat again and think about how you can make your learners set goals when taking your instruction. You may now be motivated to have a goal setting activity for your own instruction. You can let your learners to set up their goals at the beginning of your instruction through a goal setting activity.

You may wonder how on earth you could design a goal setting activity for your own learners?

There are two important tips for designing the goal setting activity.

1. Standard three-part skill-development model[edit | edit source]

As you may be aware of, goal setting can be considered as a skill helpful for learning practice. Merrill[1] once presented a model for designing instruction for skill development, and you can utilize this model for designing the goal setting activity for your instruction.
There are three parts in the model, Generality, Demonstration, and Practice. Let's look at this model with goal setting process.

  • Generality: You should give learners a general description of what goal setting is and how to do it.
  • Demonstration: You should show them examples of doing the goal-setting process.
  • Practice: You should have them practice the goal setting process on their own and give them immediate feedback on their performance.

You can design a goal setting activity for your learners based on this three-part skill-development model.

2. Simplifying conditions method[edit | edit source]

Another point that you can consider when designing a goal setting activity is Reigeluth's[2] simplifying conditions method. Often time, there can be multiple part tasks involved in one whole task. For example, in one whole task (i.e. task goal), there can be many part tasks involved to achieve the whole task goal (e.g. identifying the whole task goal, recalling prior knowledge or experience, identifying potential resources) and so on.

When designing a goal setting activity, on one hand, you can incorporate the three-part skill-development model for each part task. For example, one example of part task is to recall prior knowledge or experience. You can design activity to teach your learner this part task using the three-part model. Then, you let learners move onto the next part task when they master it. On the other hand, you can design an activity for the entire whole task at once. Instead of having individual activity or instruction for each part task, you can create an instruction or activity for the whole task at once. So the learners go through the entire whole task at once. Here, simplifying conditions method can be applied to reduce learners' cognitive load. For example, you may give the resource options that they can use for their entire goal setting activity so that learners need to think of less conditions.

  1. Merrill, M. D. (2006). Levels of instructional strategy. Educational Technology, 46(4), 5-10.
  2. Reigeluth, C. M. (1999). The elaboration theory: Guidance for scope and sequence decisions. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional design theories and Models: A new paradigm of instructional theory volume II (pp. 425-453). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

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