AOUG Sir John Daniel Award for Education and Language Studies

Awarded to Ruth Jones

Research into quality improvement and student experience

I have worked in further education for over twenty years and occupy a senior position with specific responsibly for quality of provision and student experience. Many education institutions, including the one in which I work, engage in the practice of setting individual student targets. These are the anticipated final grades in relation to the qualifications that students are working towards. Such targets are intended to be motivational. My research aimed to understand the students’ experience of a target setting process within the context of a sixth form college in Wales. It explored how self-belief may impact on this process and influence not only engagement with the practice, but whether it was a motivating or demotivating experience. Overall, the assumption that target grades are motivational was not fully substantiated. Students need to own their own targets; however, this ownership may be influenced by their self-efficacy or locus of control beliefs.