Unformatted text preview: ional materials and experiences that are moderately
challenging, but that are at the students’ instructional level. • If students are discouraged, stress improvement in small
increments. Start with tasks students can succeed at and gradually
increase task difficulty. • Provide students with some choice in what and how they learn to
promote a sense of personal control over their learning. Goal Setting
Goals are important for self-regulation because they specify standards for
success. They also prompt learners to monitor their progress toward their goals,
and to modify their efforts to increase the likelihood of reaching their goals 36 (Bandura, 1991). Helping learners to be effective goal-setters can improve both
their sense of self-efficacy and their achievement (Bandura & Schunk, 1981).
Goals are likely to be more useful to learners if they meet certain criteria
(Locke & Latham, 1990; Ridley, Schunk, 2001; Schutz, Glanz, & Weinstein,
1992). First, the goals should be specific. Vaguely conceptualized goals are hard
to monitor and evaluate. It is better to specify the types of improvements that are
desired. For example, rather than setting a goal to be a better student, a student
might focus on specifics such as reading the assigned material for tomorrow’s
Second, goals should be reasonably challenging. They should not be set so
high that failure is guaranteed, but they should not be set so low that minimal
effort is required to accomplish the goals. If goals are both specific and
reasonably challenging, students often can improve their motivation to perform
(Locke & Latham, 1990).
Goals should be proximal, which means that learners should think in terms
of short-term goals that lead them eventually to their long-term goals (Bandura &
Schunk, 1981). For example, you could talk to students about what they would
like to accomplish today or this week that will help them accomplish their longterm goals.
Selecting Effective Strategies 37 To b...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
- Spring '08