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Adult Learner > Strategies > Goal Setting & Monitoring

Goal Setting & Monitoring


Setting overall goals with actionable steps for achievement can help learners feel more confident in their abilities and help minimize procrastination-related behaviors. Incremental goal setting can support Self-regulation and increase Motivation as learners begin to successfully tackle difficult challenges in smaller steps. For example, when participating in Problem Solving activities, setting goals with smaller tasks can help learners direct their behavior to achieve a solution. Similarly, when completing writing tasks, setting specific goals for the content and audience of the piece leads to improvements in the overall quality of writing. Monitoring the process is essential for building self-efficacy and Motivation. For older adults, setting goals and monitoring progress assists with Long-term Memory retention, including recalling facts and information.

Use It In Your Learning Environment

Instructors can support learners by helping them create individualized goals for learning based on personalized feedback and reflection and by helping them monitor their progress toward the goals. For example, during the writing process, setting small, achievable goals may help learners feel more in control of their learning while managing more complex writing tasks that can sometimes feel overwhelming.

For digital platforms, instructors can have the ability to incorporate larger goals with smaller sub-goals to ensure manageability of larger tasks. This can help learners manage Emotion and reduce anxiety when completing more complex work. Adult learners should be able to set their own goals to increase autonomy and create relevance. Integrating the ability to communicate with others about their progress toward these goals can increase accountability and foster collaboration. Features such as reminders and shareable lists can help learners stay on track, be more accountable to the goals they set, and revise goals as needed.