Set targets to achieve goals
Since the dawn of time mankind has set itself targets. Definable aims and ambitions become objectives towards which efforts can be directed.
To parody George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984’, "all targets are created equal, but some targets are more equal than others". In other words, it is important to recognise that there are many types of targets and there is a range of arguments for and against the setting of targets. It’s also important to recognise that if you’re not setting targets for yourself, you may find yourself unwittingly being used as a target in someone else's goals.
For instance, there is a difference between targets for a school and targets for an individual; there is a difference between targets for a company and targets for its employees and there is a difference between targets for an industry and targets for its participants. These differences may be a cause of conflict as politics obscures the bigger picture. In such cases, having clearly defined personal targets will help keep you on track.
When it comes to targets for an individual, a key factor to identify is who the individual is competing against. Very often the answer is simply themselves because personal achievement is not a zero sum game. With this in mind we can design targets aimed to boost confidence, which in turn will boost grades and achievements. One technique for meeting this goal is the use of league tables, also known as leaderboards.
Recognition is an important part of the learning experience.
Celebrating success is a concept that many parents of young children will be familiar with as the offer of a sticker chart on the fridge door is met with wide-eyed anticipation of a reward if the pre-requisite number of stickers are attached. As a technique for correcting behaviour or improving table manners or staying in bed longer or… or… or… the use of the chart is an introduction to positive target setting and it works well.
Motivation for adult learners is also about recognition. This is often achieved by way of a certificate. Technology can be used to deliver a myriad of certification options based on simple combinations of actions or complex fusions of online and offline achievements.
Giving rewards such as online badges and combining learning goals to automate acknowledgement of success is a powerful weapon to have in your armoury, which is why the team at Coracle are proud to offer the robust awards system on the Learning Line.
As an adult in the workplace, you almost certainly do a certain amount of planning for your work, so why not plan targets for your development too? If your HR or training manager isn’t helping you plan your development by setting targets, then ask them to start! As the image on this post shows, planning is an essential part of success!
Lastly, as UK Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock MP said in a speech at the BETT show on Jan 24, 2014, “technology can revolutionise marking, lesson planning, individual achievement and motivation. And that’s just a few of the most exciting technologies. Use technology properly, and standards rise.”