Identifying and Writing Instructional Goal Statements The instructional design process begins with the identification of one or more problems. Learning more about the nature of the problem is done through what is referred to as the needs analysis or needs assessment. The needs analysis process focuses on the “what is.” After all the information about the problem has been gathered then it is possible to better identify the “what should be.” The goal statement is the expression of the way we would like things to be. For example, in a school district records indicate that only 81 percent of students are passing the functional literacy examination. Our goal is that we want to have 95 percent of the students in our school district pass the functional literacy examination. There is a gap of 14 percent “between what is” and “what should be”. Therefore, a goal might be to increase the percentage of students passing the functional literacy examination by 14 percent, to a level of 95 percent passing. Instructional goals focus on what learners will be able to do. While it may not be clear exactly what the skills are that make a person “functionally literate” as instructional designers we need to have some idea of how we would proceed to help students reach these goals. It is important to note that instructional goals describe the outcomes of instruction, and NOT the process of instruction. Therefore, a goal statement should • contain a clear, general statement of learner outcomes; • describes what the learner will achieve; • relate to an identified problem and needs assessment; and • be able to be achieved through instruction rather than otherwise. Examples of Well-Written Goal Statements 1. Given access to a computer and Microsoft Excel, teachers at Roosevelt Elementary, will create spreadsheets and charts, using their own end-of-level CRT testing data for a three-year period, in order to evaluate their teaching in the areas of language arts, mathematics, and science. These spreadsheets and charts will be used as the teachers meet with the principal to set goals for their instruction. 2. Given access to a computer with Internet and directed instruction, 5th and 6th grade teachers as a part of their on-going professional training will develop skills and competencies in internet search strategies and web site evaluation for authority, authenticity and relevancy. Teachers will then be able to implement these skills in lessons with their own students. 3. Using tools given through the BYUH webmasters online community (discussion boards, training, and certification), campus webmasters will choose to develop web pages and applications that adhere to the university’s established web policies and standards. 4. Given access to a calculator, paper and pencil, and a subnetting problem, students in the Cisco Academy at Northwest Vista college will demonstrate their knowledge of subnetting by analyzing subnetting problems and applying appropriate rules to develop the correct solution to any subnetting problem they will encounter either in a school given problem or in a real world workplace experience. 5. When given the curriculum designed for the course Computer Technology, learners will demonstrate competency producing educational and business related word processing documents; data revealing tables, graphs, and reports in spreadsheet form; research projects from electronic information sources (Internet); send and receive electronic mail and attachments; and give multimedia presentations orally and in print. 6. CESA 5 staff members will demonstrate effective and efficient communication skills while conducting business with clients, staff members, and outside agencies using the FirstClass email system. These skills include setting appropriate preferences, creating mail lists, summarizing threads and messages, saving messages, using calendar features, and scheduling resources online. Summary Instructional goals are clear statements of behaviors that learners are to demonstrate as a result of instruction. They are typically derived through a needs assessment process and are intended to address problems that can be resolved most efficiently through instruction. They provide the foundation for all subsequent instructional design activities. Instructional goals are selected and refined through a rational process that requires answering questions about a particular problem and need, about the clarity of the goal statement, and about the availability of resources to design and develop the instruction.