Student Goal Setting: An Evidence-Based Practice

The act of goal setting is a desired competency area for students associated with the “learning-to-learn” skills students need to engage in deeper learning. The act of goal setting, therefore, is a practice that educators can use to help fuel students’ learning-to-learn skills, such as a sense of agency, intrinsic motivation, and capacity to manage their own learning. As an educational practice, teachers interested in promoting learning-to-learn skills ask students to engage in goal setting within group advisories, during one-to-one advising sessions, and as an integral component of the students’ personalized learning plans.

This resource was developed to support initiatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin related to personalized and deeper learning, including the use of student academic and career plans. It includes a brief summary of the research, highlights promising goal-setting practices, and provides the results of a research evidence review that indicates that there is promising (Tier III) evidence for the practice of student goal setting.

Kristina Zeiser
Principal Researcher