How To Refine Your Teaching Goals

Recently, I wrote about how to set teaching goals that would make an impact on you and your students. At the end of the post, I identified my goal for the semester:

My goal for this semester is to learn how to use Flipgrid in my instruction in ways that go beyond simple introductions. 

That goal is ok, but it’s not as refined as it needs to be in order for me to really get somewhere in my teaching. Having realized that, I thought I would use this post to walk you through my thinking as I try to make this goal a bit more concrete. For example, based on the goal above all I have to do is use Flipgrid once or twice behind introductions and I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

That’s not necessarily a good thing.

So let’s back up and consider….

Reasons Why I Want To Use Flipgrid 

I’m hoping to increase our connections.

First, let’s be honest, I want to use it because it’s relatively new and cool, and I like playing with shiny new toys. But, beyond that, why am I pushing myself to use it? My real interest in it lies in the connections and interactions I am hoping it can promote.

My class this semester is 100% online, and it is critical to me to develop a strong community where we keep regularly engaged with each other. Flipgrid provides a platform where we can see and hear each other. We’re not just communicating in writing. I do believe seeing and hearing each other is important in an online class.

Let’s Refine The Goal

Actually, before I refine it, let me say that if you have a goal that is similar to mine in terms of style that is just fine. Don’t be overly critical. We have to start somewhere, and saying I want to use Flipgrid is a great place to start. But now let’s get to work.

In thinking about why I wanted to use Flipgrid in the first place, I was able to revise my goal:

This semester, I want to use Flipgrid to:

  • promote face-to-face interactions in my online class
  • foster a better sense of community
  • make the class more interactive

That is much better. I think I have more clarity in terms of what I’m working towards. The question now is what do I do and how do I know if I’m achieving it? This is what my next post will address. For now, I hope you have found it helpful to see how I took a goal that was written pretty broadly and got it to be a bit more specific. It’s not overly specific. I have some flexibility in terms of how I enact them.

Additionally, I like to think of these as starter goals. This means that while I have some ideas for what I want to achieve in using Flipgrid, I also recognize that new goals and ways of using it will pop up during the semester. My goals can be modified, added to, or even deleted if need be.

So, what is your teaching goal for the semester? What do you hope to accomplish with it? Tell me about it!