Manuscript Format

Teaching and Learning Resource

Time required for implementation of resource

> 50 minutes

Subdiscipline of Kinesiology

Sport/Exercise Psychology


Teaching about the empirical evidence and basic tenets of setting and pursuing goals is a common topic in undergraduate kinesiology courses, especially in sport and exercise psychology. Yet, many textbooks and materials include goal setting as an applied skill or behavior change process buried in the middle of the term. In this article, we will define types of goals and share a goal setting activity that may be scaled for a variety of courses and class sizes. The purpose of this article is to share a proposal for opening the course by first covering the topic of goal setting. The intention is to use the topic of goal setting as an opportunity to orient the students to the course; this is especially helpful in course design strategies that include increased student autonomy, such as specifications-based or gamified courses. The method of instruction includes both lecture and guided activity, along with an adaptable worksheet. By first learning about goal setting in behavior change, students can better grasp the concept before immediately applying the skill to their own goals for the course. The estimated time commitment for this process is about 150 minutes, or two to three class meetings. The benefit of this activity is twofold: first, students learn about, and practice goal setting based on evidence-supported strategies for successful behavior change and goal pursuit, and secondly, students intentionally practice goal setting by identifying a detailed path and set of actions that should help them be most successful in a specific course.

Corresponding Author

Jedediah E. Blanton, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor | Dept. of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies

Director of Teaching Development | College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences

(e) jed@utk.edu | (v) 865-974-8848