Blog Importance of Setting Goals for K–12 Students By Bel Clohesy Technology to Transform Your School Only if students know how they are performing will they be able to propel themselves forward in their learning. Setting goals is an important step to enabling students to assess the success of their learning. Goals also empower students to take ownership of their learning and create further opportunities for themselves. Given the online learning environment that has become a reality for K–12 schools as a result of the 2020 pandemic, effective ways are required to enable setting goals. Schoolbox, an online learning platform for K–12 schools has great features that provide capabilities to set goals for students. What is a Goal? A goal provides students with the visibility of what to work towards. They can be set by the student themselves or the teacher. Where a student sets their own goals, this shows a level of empowerment as the student takes ownership of their own learning. In the Schoolbox platform, goal setting is enabled via the badges module. Both students and teachers can set goals, providing students the opportunities to become independent learners. Once achieved, teachers can award each goal in the form of a ‘badge’. Badges in Schoolbox Goals are categorised into four areas in Schoolbox to reflect the whole student approach. Category 1: Learning Example of learning badges This category involves goals that relate to increasing the knowledge of the student. For instance, you can set a goal for a student to count to 10 or for a student to develop an awareness of how science can be used to support personal and community decisions. Category 2: Extracurricular Example of extracurricular badges Extracurricular goals are focussed on providing students with skills beyond the classroom. For instance, you may want students to harness cooking skills or endeavour to join a sporting team or activity. Category 3: Personal Example of personal badges To harness the whole student approach, learners also require time to reflect and achieve personal goals. These could be something like when they’re working to understand how to ask questions to support their learning or when they develop the skills to be resilient when working on challenging tasks. Category 4: Community Example of community badges With the support of the community, students feel comfortable and confident to enhance their learning. This category is about creating goals that enable students to get involved with their community. For instance, students wanting to contribute by being part of the Student Representative Council (SRC) or joining the sustainability team to contribute to the whole school environment. Goals and Achievements Setting goals is important so what is the next important element of that? Achieving the goal! Schoolbox provides the capability for teachers to award badges to mark achieving a goal. For this to happen, the student must first demonstrate they have achieved the goal. Encouraging dialogue between the student and teacher enhances the learning journey and ensures the student can grow. Let’s take a look at how this would work in practice. First, the goal is set—let’s say the student sets a goal that they can recite the twelve times table. When the student feels like they can successfully do this, they can chat with their teacher and if they agree, the goal can become an achievement. The notion of using badges to illustrate the achievement of goals gives students, particularly younger learners, a sense of pride and accomplishment. This then instils a lifelong love for learning. The Schoolbox Activity Feed Both goals and achievements are visible on the student activity feed within Schoolbox. The activity feed is accessible via the Student Profile Page. All you need to do is click the Goals or Achievements tab on the page. Example of Activity Feed Having goals and achievements visible on Schoolbox activity feed provides transparency for all those involved in the student’s learning journey, especially parents. The activity feed also enables interaction so parents, teachers and even the students themselves can comment on their progress. Schoolbox also houses the capability to capture learning moments so for younger learners, it is helpful to have the activity feed showcase individual learning moments as they progress towards their goal. Curriculum mapping and beyond Badges in Schoolbox can be linked to the school curriculum, including general capabilities, personal and social capabilities, critical and creative thinking, intercultural understanding and ethical understanding. This capability provides the opportunity for future tracking and overall enhances the learning of each and every student. There are a lot more features in the pipeline for Schoolbox. Speak to an education consultant today and find out how Schoolbox can enhance the learning journey for your K–12 students. Bel Clohesy has been a teacher for over 17 years, with expertise in teaching students from Kindergarten to Year 8. With a strong foundation in digital technology, Bel’s priority is ensuring an enhanced teaching and learning experience for K–12 schools.