Developing a goal, a SMART Goal – learner outcomes and action steps

I’ve been trying to wrap several goals into one to “turn in” for the 2013-2014 school year.  We want to work on assessment and reading while we continue to grow in our ability to integrating technology, develop self-awareness, and the habits of reflection and goal setting.  Can I weave assessment literacy, My Learning (e-portfolio), and integration of technology into one goal?

My first draft, written Saturday afternoon, is shown below:

My Goal:

To support Trinity School’s mission to create a community of learners in which each [learner] can acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to achieve his or her unique potential and become a responsible, productive, and compassionate member of the expanding global community, I will reflect on my learning in public by keeping a running record in an e-portfolio. I will encourage and provide opportunities and support for other faculty to develop professional portfolios that document their learning, growth and reflections.

  • Strategic: Publishing a minimum of one reflection per week will model reflective teaching practices that mirror the reflective learning practices we expect from Trinity Students in their My Learning portfolios.
  • Measurable: Success will be measured in several ways. Will I be able to publish a meaningful reflection every week? Will other faculty enhance my learning by commenting on my reflections and/or by sharing the reflections with others? Will other faculty-learners embrace the My Learning philosophy and model reflective practices for their student- learners?
  • Attainable: Every journey begins with a first step. When I stumble, there is built-in intervention. I can reflect on my practices every day. I can publish a reflections every week. If I stumble, there is alway the next week to recover and try again. It is an iterative process.
  • Results-oriented: Portfolios support a growth mindset by allowing learners to track their learning and growth over time. Focus on learning that has already occurred will connect ideas to future development.
  • Time-bound: We expect our student-learners to reflection on their learning periodically throughout the entire school year; therefore, I will publish at least one reflection every week during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Action Steps:

  • Intentionally reflect and question to grow and learn in public on Experiments in Learning by Doing under the category MyLearningEDU. Connect with others by broadcasting each post via Twitter.
  • Offer and support PLuGIn: SynergyEDU 1.0 for teacher-learners to experience collaborative problem-finding and problem-solving.
  • Offer and support MyLearningEDU 1.5 for teacher-learners to model and experience what we have students already doing . 

My first thought Sunday morning was that I had written an action step rather than a goal.  My goal should be about learner outcomes. The action steps should be what I will do and help others do to facilitate learning to reach the goal.  In the goal above, I have written what I want to do; what I want to learn.  This is an action step toward some goal that I have not yet uncovered.  Why do I want to “reflect on my learning in public…,” and why do I want to “encourage and provide opportunities and support for other faculty to develop professional portfolios that document their learning, growth and reflections?” 

Why? Well, we believe in reflection and learning about how I learn for students.  Do we believe, want, or need that for ourselves? Do we find as much value in something that we have not experienced ourselves? I know that my portfolio – this blog – helps me think, clarify, and learn.  It also documents, tracks, and shows my learning. Isn’t that what we want for every learner?

After 2 more revisions with some great and helpful feedback from Shelley Paul (@lottascales), the latest iteration of my goal looks like this:

My Goal:

To purposefully act to forward Trinity School’s mission, faculty-learners and student-learners will grow significantly in their use of reflection and the formative, diagnostic, and self-assessment knowledge that come from such an approach to learning.

  • Strategic: Publishing a minimum of one reflection per week will model and practice reflective teaching practices that mirror the reflective learning practices we expect from My Learning student portfolios.
  • Measurable: Success will be measured in several ways.  Will we publish meaningful reflections every week? Will we enhance others learning by commenting on reflections and/or by sharing the reflections with others? Will faculty-learners embrace the My Learning philosophy and model reflective practices for student-learners?
  • Attainable: Every journey begins with a first step.  Reflection on practices occurs every day.  Publishing a reflections every week is the target.  If  a stumble occurs (a missed week), there is always the next week to recover and try again. It is an iterative process.
  • Results-oriented: Portfolios support a growth mindset by allowing learners to track their learning and growth over time and offer opportunities to modeling networked learning and develop community partners. 
  • Time-bound:  We expect our student-learners to reflection on their learning periodically throughout the entire school year; therefore, the goal is to publish at least one reflection every week during the 2014-2015 academic year.   

Action Steps:

  • Intentionally reflect and question to grow and learn. Publicly publish my reflections at Experiments in Learning by Doing using the tag #MyLearning. Connect with others by broadcasting each post via Twitter.
  • Reflect on learning by keeping a running record in an e-portfolio. Encourage and provide opportunities and support for others to develop professional portfolios that document learning, growth and reflections.
  • Support reflection, questioning, and growth of learners by designing and engaging in professional development opportunities for teacher-learners to learn by doing. Examples: 
    • PLuGIn: SynergyEDU 1.0 for teacher-learners to experience collaborative problem-finding and problem-solving.
    • MyLearningEDU 1.5 for teacher-learners to model and experience My Learning from the student perspective.

There is one aspect of Shelley’s feedback that I am still pondering.  Shelley asked me about how measurable – quantifiable – this goal is, which is a great question.  She wonders “do you hope 5 teachers do this all year? 30? All of them? Most to some extent and some all the way?” I want depth over breadth at the moment.  Shelley gave me an idea that maybe I should “see who comes along…. year 2 you will have a baseline to grow from.”

I think that this is what I will choose to stick with for the moment.  I know that this goal will grow and evolve as I learn more.

As always…your feedback is welcomed and encouraged. I’d love to know what you think.  Your ideas will help me learn and grow.

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