S.M.A.R.T. Goals and Action Plans
You may have come across the term 'S.M.A.R.T.' goals in your time instructing, but just what does it mean and how do we apply it to our students?
On the briefing and debriefing page we have refered to open questions and the best words to start 'open' questions (questions that get a narrative answer rather than a 'Yes or No' in response).
To be specific, we or our students need to beable to answer these questions, after all a SPECIFIC action needs a specific question.
How, Who, What, Where, When, Which, Why
i.e. How are you going to XXX , Where are you going to XXX, What are you going to do when XXX, Why are we doing this activity?
When a goal or action is measurable you have the ability to see 'the light at the end of the tunnel' and feel achievement for reaching your target.
To work out if your goal or action is measurable, you need to ask yourself or your students questions like: When will I know it has been achieved? How much time will it take?
Any target is achievable if you have planned a route to get there and a realistic time frame to get there. You must create a number of small steps with your students that are specific to their needs and abilities to help them reach their end goal/action.
This needs to be something that both yourself and your student is able to work to and willing to do. By having small steps towards meeting a large goal you create realistic motivation for your student as they will feel a sense of achievement on completing each of these steps.
A time-frame needs to be set out to achieve any goal/target/action otherwise motivation will be quickly lost if there is no urgency. Though you must be careful not to make time-frame unrealistic; consider your time availability and that of your students, taking into consideration their life outside of the activity i.e. work, family etc. The best way to work out if the goal/action is 'timely' is to discuss it with your student and ask them what they see as realistic and timely.