SMART Goals for Students: Definition and Examples

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  • 0:01 Definition of SMART Goals
  • 0:58 Components of SMART Goals
  • 1:55 Writing SMART Goals
  • 3:11 Additional SMART Goal Examples
  • 4:41 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Harkema

Becca teaches special education and is completing her doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Educators often need to write SMART goals for their students. This lesson will introduce you to the components of SMART goals so that you can improve your goal-writing skills by writing goals that are SMART.

Definition of SMART Goals

Have you ever made a goal for yourself only to find that when it came to evaluate your goal, you really did not know if you met it or not? After the holidays last year, I made a goal for myself to lose weight by the spring season. When the calendar turned to May, I asked myself if I met my goal, and I honestly could not give a definitive answer because I had not made a SMART goal.

SMART is an acronym that helps individuals write meaningful and measurable goals. The letters of the acronym stand for specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound. Although SMART goals can be used in a variety of settings (business, personal use, etc.), they are often used in school settings for students. In this lesson, we will take a look at each of the components of the SMART acronym and practice applying the components to goals for students.

Components of SMART Goals

Specific: When writing goals for students, they need to be specific. This means that the goal should be well defined so that everybody on the educational team knows exactly the intended outcome for the goal.

Measurable: Writing a goal that is measurable is essential. A goal that is measurable means that data can be taken on the goal to provide evidence of it being met or not met.

Achievable: Goals for students should also be achievable. This means that the goal will challenge the student, so that it is worthwhile to work on, but that it is also a realistic task for the student to accomplish.

Results-focused: Results-focused means that the goal is measuring an outcome, not an activity or exercise.

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