Goals and Objectives

I thought I would pull together some important things you should know about goals and objectives. I am assuming you already have a rough idea of how to write goals and objectives.

For a quick review a good goal will identify 1) Who will do 2) What 3) How well 4) Under what conditions 5) By when

These little buggers seem rather obvious but are somehow frequently forgotten 🙂

1) Its all about the data.

If you don’t have data, you don’t have any business writing a goal. First and foremost collect your data!!!

2) Start with a baseline.

Its nice that you would like your little johnny to count to 10 or to read at the 9th grade level…. but first you need to look at the data to see where little johnny is right now. If  johnny cant say his numbers at all or is only read at the 2nd grade level your goal probably needs to be broken down in to smaller steps.

3) Make sure that baseline matches the goal!

I consistently see baselines that do not match the goal.

Wrong- Baseline: By 5/22/2010, Sally can decode at the first grade level with 80% accuracy independently.

Goal: By 5/22/2010, Sally will answer comprehension questions at the second grade level with 80%    accuracy independently.

Decoding and comprehension may be related but they are not the same thing!

Right: Baseline: By 5/22/2010, Sally can decode at the first grade level with 80% accuracy independently.

Goal: By 5/22/2010, Sally will decode at the first grade level with 80% accuracy independently.

3) Consider pervious rates of learning.

Is Johnny a word wiz? Does the data show that he can master 10 new words a week? Great! Go ahead and write that goal for mastering 200 sight words. But if the data shows that Johnny is mastering 2 words a month then back that train up!!! Goals should be written with the student’s rate of learning in mind. remember that is the rate that the data shows he has been learning at-not the rate you would like him learning at!

4) Include conditions!

Are you prompting the student? Providing visual supports? Do you expect them to exhibit the skill or behavior across environments or only in one environment? It is important to delineate the conditions under which you expect the student to demonstrate a given behavior or skill.

Oh and did I mention DATA yet? Don’t forget Data is your friend it drives instruction and informs decision making!! Check out the Data post for tips on taking it, organizing it, presenting it.