Join Aaron Quigley for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting a learning goal, part of Learning with Lynda.com.
Let's start building a framework for learning by setting a learning goal. Now there's a lot of ways that we can do this, but a good goal should keep you on track, keep you focused, and help you reach the goal. In my own life, and with the students that I've taught, I've come to appreciate setting SMART goals. SMART being an acronym for specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time sensitive. Let's go ahead and walk through a couple of examples, and then we'll take some time to create our own goals for learning that we can build upon using the Lynda.com website features.
For our first example, if I wanted to take better photos on family vacations, I could simply state that my learning goal was to take better photos. Well, that goal however, doesn't really guide me to what I need or even put parameters around the learning that needs to take place. For example, what is better? Why am I taking these photos? Instead, I could change my goal to be a SMART goal. I want to learn to take landscape photos before my family vacation to the Cascades. Okay, let's go ahead and run this goal through the SMART goal format.
It's specific because I've been to able to identify the learning topic, landscape photography. It's measureable because I can compare prior landscape photos to new photos. Depending on when my vacation is, it should be attainable. And it's incredibly relevant because the Cascade Mountain Range, a personal favorite of mine, has breathtaking scenery. Finally, it's time sensitive, and I can now structure some learning and make sure I'm ready to take those photos when the vacation comes. For another example, maybe I'm looking to open up my own business.
I could set the goal, learn to run a business. Okay, but how? What does that take? When do I know I'm ready to give notice and strike out on my own? Instead, I could break this into several SMART goals. First, I could have write a business plan by December. Second, could be I need to understand business financial management, and I should do that by February. And finally, what about learning to design a logo by March. As you can see, I'm now creating steps that are going to help focus my learning, and allow me to more quickly find the courses and content that will propel me towards by goal.
At this time, I would suggest that you pause the video and take a few minutes to write a SMART goal in the my notes section of this course. We will reference your goal at several times when we continue to make our learning framework in the next few chapters. Please go ahead and pause now. Hopefully you were able to add a specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, and time sensitive goal into your note section. As I mentioned before, we'll continue to reference this note section and your goal as we continue to move throughout this course and learn how to leverage these things for better learning.