Enhancing Student Performance: The Effects and Further Development of an Online Goal-setting Intervention



Lack of clear goals and motivation are an important cause of student underachievement and dropout. Based on prior literature (e.g., Locke & Latham 2002) a multi-step online goal-setting program was developed and tested. The goal-setting program requires students to conceptualize, articulate and plan their desired personal futures, in a broad and intensely personal manner. In an experimental study, this online program turned out to be very helpful for struggling students (Morisano et al, 2010). Research among 700 first-year RSM students has shown strong effects of student participation in this goal-setting intervention on student performance and retention rates. Importantly, students who participated in only one part of the goal-setting intervention did much better than students who did not participate in any, and these students did worse than students who participated in several or all parts of the intervention (Schippers, Scheepers & Peterson). The online program is currently being developed further for high school students. Issues in the development of this program for other target groups will be discussed.