Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Catherine M. Kelly


Curriculum and Instruction


This action research project aimed to determine whether self-set educational goals increase academic performance in a middle school environment. Students participated in a five-week study which included eleven students in grades 7-8. The researchers conducted this study in February and March of 2021. The students who consented to participate were from two schools: a public middle school in North Dakota and a public charter school in Minnesota. Due to COVID-19, both classrooms were fluctuating between distance, hybrid, and fully-in person models. The intervention used in this study was a SMART goal guide. Data sources included weekly student self-assessments, focus group discussions, and field notes. Based on this study’s findings, having students set SMART goals increased their academic performance and attitudes towards schoolwork. In the future, educators could conduct further research regarding the impact of using SMART goals long-term.

Included in

Education Commons