Publication Date


Document Type



Master of Arts in Education (MA)

MA Concentration

Innovative Learning, Urban Education


Harold Johnson, Pamela A. Redmond, Jim O'Connor


This focus of this project is to use goal setting to increase on-task behavior in a tutorial setting. The project is in the form of a training handbook for tutors in volunteer programs. The handbook fills a gap in tutor training literature in its focus on reduction of off-task behavior. The handbook has been developed out of the need to have one, concise document that can be used to train tutors in successful methods and attitudes by basing the tips and recommendations on an understanding of instructional concepts, and addressing the common problem of off-task students by using goal setting theory. The essential tutoring aspects that are discussed in the handbook are explicitly linked to this overarching goal. In addition, the handbook includes a worksheet created by the researcher, to provide a uniform structure for goal setting that can be incorporated into the structure of tutoring sessions by training tutors on successful implementation. Goal setting has been identified as successful in increasing motivation so that rates of off-task behavior are reduced, but to significantly increase motivation, researchers identify four characteristics. Goals must be specific, challenging, personally interesting, and followed up by the instructor. The handbook includes a description of how goal setting can be included in the tutorial structure and how to create motivational goals in order to reduce time spent off-task during a session. There are four project objectives that are intended to be accomplished by this handbook. One, produce a document to use alone to train tutors to be effective in their selected program. Two, strengthen tutor confidence and competency by presenting concept-based instructional support in the document. Three, teach the implementation of goal-setting strategy into program structure to increase student motivation. Four, the increase in motivation will lead to lower rates of off-task behavior during a tutorial session.