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Mastery vs. Performance Goals

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Raniem Hajazin

on 20 July 2014

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Transcript of Mastery vs. Performance Goals

How do students develop positive work habits in college?
Which is more beneficial for a student?
Both goal theories have their benefits; however, mastery goals are associated with long term benefits while performance goals deal with instant gratification. For performance goals, if a student hits their initial goal, they become less motivated to continue towards excellence (after achieving the goal). Also, if the student essentially does not hit the initial goal, it results in them becoming discouraged and de-motivated because their self-worth is based on external inputs. That being said, practicing mastery goals is a more beneficial studying habit for a student. Mastery goals encourage students to always strive for a higher point. They take mistakes as learning experiences and are not ashamed to seek help. Even when a student is faced with a challenging task, setting mastery goals allows a student to over come the task, even if it takes more effort and time.
Everyone sets goals. But, what most people don’t realize is that the type of goals you set can have a major impact on your long term performance. Setting mastery goals rather than performance goals will always be beneficial because it allows students to practice better study habits, gain motivation and are more likely to succeed in the long run.

Students’ motivation to learn is connected to goal theory. Obtaining goal theory is a beneficial studying habit students can adopt for academic tasks. Research has shown that these purposes are related to different patterns of student thinking, emotions, and actions and also to achievement (Ames). Researchers focused predominantly on two different types of goals: mastery goals and performance goals. Mastery goals are focused on increasing competence, whereas performance goals are focused on demonstrating the skill and ability of a student.

What are performance goals?
"When students strive for personal performance goals they are focused on demonstrating their competence or avoiding demonstrating incompetence." (Middleton) These are goals that are directly correlated to an outcome. These goals can be great in the short term, but they also have some downsides. Performance goals by their nature are rather shallow and do not let the student put in their best effort. If a student had to cheat, it would not matter because it will help them obtain their goal.
Mastery Goals
Students who demonstrate mastery goals are motivated on increasing their knowledge. Behavioral research has found that mastery goals are more effective because a students satisfaction is not related to external indicators (Harrell). Therefore a student has less of a chance to give up in difficult circumstances and are more likely to preserver through setbacks. Recovering from setbacks and persevering through studies result in a motivated successful student. Thus, setting mastery goals is always more effective than practicing performance goals.
Mastery vs. Performance Goals
Thank you!
Transitioning from high school to college can be a challenge to many students. Developing effective studying habits can make the transition easier. Most students do not realize that goal theory is very essential to student success. Personal goal setting is the foundation for achieving absolutely everything you want to in life. It can be your own personal goals to academical success.
How mastery goals lead to motivated students
When preforming mastery goals there is always an ambition to reach. This makes motivation over a long period of time easier to maintain. Students who practice mastery goals always have something to strive for therefore they will always stay motivated. Many students become more interested in learning which motivates them more to put in the effort to learn. This cycle transforms a student into an effective learning.
Studying Habits

Mastery goals
Choosing challenging tasks
Using adaptive learning strategies
Seeking help when needed
Having a positive attitude towards task, and the classroom environment (Ames)
Effort and persistent while studying

Performance goals
Anxiety
Disorganized
Superficial learning habits
Low exam performance
Avoid engaging actively in task requirements
View that success is indicated by outperforming others, surpassing normative standards, or looking smart. (Ames)

Goal theory is a term used in education to discuss research dealing with student motivation and daily success. Even though setting goals is crucial its the matter of choosing what type of goal a student wants to set for themselves. Many students educated themselves for future rather than learning material just to get the task over with. When students start out with setting mastery goals it can better prepare their studying habits for college and into their work fields. Establishing mastery goals will always guarantee a positive outcome which will carry on to the student. These habits can motivate a student to reach outside the educational system and strive to make a positive effect on the community. Even though performance goals do produce positive outcomes, the positive outcome is a sudden gratification rather than a long term effect. Instant outcomes are useful in some situations but for a student it is always beneficial to look toward the future. Setting mastery goals does establish that. It establishes an organized, consistent, and most importantly a motivated student, who seeks to better themselves and their future. Set mastery goals and you will master your future!
In conclusion.....
How to set mastery goals that transform into reality
X
act- Clarity is power. If you want to reach your goals, you need to be very clear about what they are. You need to make your goals exact.
P
rize for each part- Reward yourself. Set milestones that break up your goal into smaller parts. Once you accomplish a milestone feel proud of yourself! You achieved something! This is positive encouragement to accomplish more tasks.
L
ength- Have a time line for when you want your goal achieved. Setting a time period helps you to become more organized and does not lead to procrastination. Organization is a very important studying tool.
O
bjective- Know why you have set your goal. Write it down and feel those reasons. The emotion will drive you forward.
R
eal- Set realistic and achievable goals for yourself. Do not set limits, but make sure you can actually achieve the task. Do not discourage yourself if you did not achieve it for the first time, in fact work harder to reach it!
E
xciting- Be excited about your goal! Showing a positive attitude will help you in any situation. Bringing in excitement to a task makes it more enjoyable and less of a commitment. ("How to Set Goals That Transform into Reality"

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