Writing Goals and Comments

This page presents tips on writing goals and comments (see bottom of page), along with examples of goals and comments from a sample of Work-Based Learning Plans.

Goals and Comments from Sample Work-Based Learning Plans


Skill Goal
Demonstrating AuthorityBe more assertive in decision-making process. Authoritative skills will be naturally gained through job confidence by end of semester. [Student] is right on track!
Interacting with clients[Student] is very shy and needs to interact with confidence and with body language to effectively work with patients.
Interacting with clientsObserve vet/client interactions; do not participate unless required.
ListeningRepeating back work task directions
Motivation and taking initiativeNeeds to speak up without fear. He has good things to say.
Office SkillsConstruct a visual presentation of [project] summer experiences.
Prioritizing[Student] works hard toward reaching her goals. She treats everyone with respect. She treats each task, no matter how large or small, with the same diligence. [Student] is a pleasure to work with. I hope to see [student] take more chances throughout the second half of this semester - not being afraid to make independent decisions, not being afraid to make mistakes.
Professional behavior[Student] will demonstrate confidence in order to assist therapists and to speak to patients comfortably.
Project ManagementI have helped her with some formatting skills.
Research and AnalysisApplying concepts from reading about teaching to individual students
Speaking[Student] will demonstrate confidence in order to assist therapists and to speak to patients comfortably.
SpeakingOK to speak when not spoken to. Ask questions.
SpeakingTo become more comfortable talking with children with more exposure.
Teaching and InstructingI would like to see [student] do some direct teaching of math skills, i.e. problem of the day, or basic skills.
Teaching and InstructingWill write one lesson plan for a reading group.
Teaching and InstructingStill needs work establishing role as authority figure
Time ManagementTo increase speed without giving up organization.
Workplace appearanceWear professional clothing in and out of the clinic (minimize accessories esp.), and continue to wear scrubs during internship.
Workplace appearanceHigh school dress is OK. Looks good in a shirt and tie.
WritingMake an outline before writing next article.
WritingShe is very accurate when writing letters and making charts. She proofreads and edits very well. Her writing skills are excellent.


[Student] has adapted to her job nicely. She is polite, careful about roles, appearance and courtesy. She is proficient in organization, but could improve on quickness of execution of tasks.
[Student] identifies that she has difficulty with initial patient interaction. She appears to be very shy and has difficulty with taking initiative.
Initially indicated marginal computer skills however is well beyond assigned task in terms of Excel skills. Quick study! Absorbed the essence and direction of a fairly sophisticated $35 million spreadsheet in a short period. Excellent ability to go past the obvious.
[Student] needs to work on an organizational system for his paperwork (i.e. folder, notebook). This will help him keep track of which computer he has serviced. He would benefit from taking a computer technology course if he wishes to pursue a position as a technology troubleshooter.
I am very impressed with the initiative [student] takes in the classroom. She is poised, motivated, and extremely mature. My students enjoy her presence in the room. They respect her and view her as another teacher. She is able to anticipate the needs of those students who require additional help.
[Student] takes readily to the task at hand and generally takes direction well. [Student] needs to work on Foundation Skills (page 1), especially taking initiative.
[Student] is a pleasure to have around. She presents herself professionally, follows instructions well and adapts to different situations. I have actually sent her to different clinics when mine is slow and she seems quite comfortable with this.
[Student] is doing very well and is catching on fast. [Student] is still learning the different skills and is retaining the information and seems to understand everything but there still needs to be improvement because it takes time to learn these skills and the math for precise measurements. She is very attentive and is willing to try anything. She asks questions when she is not sure on something we say or if she does not understand what we are doing. Over time she will continue to gain and improve skills.

Tips - Verbal and Written Feedback

Good advice and feedback:

  • Is honest and realistic
  • Recognizes what is going well as much as what needs to be improved
  • Is focused on work-related situations
  • Focuses on results and outcomes
  • Focuses on how the person can improve
  • Makes the person feel at ease
  • Is given in private as opposed to a public setting
  • Helps the person to engage in problem solving

When writing goals and comments:

  • Be brief and clear
  • Combine positive and corrective feedback
  • Focus on future actions and opportunities to learn and improve
  • When giving feedback verbally:

  • Ask questions to help the participant think about solutions
  • Briefly explain your workplace's expectations and point out the reasons for these
  • Suggest simple strategies, using "I' statements or "you might try" rather than "you should" or "you shouldn't"
  • Describe ways that you or other co-workers or staff have solved a similar problem or approached a similar situation
  • For example:

    • Focusing on the workplace expectations and the reason for those expectations:
      • Addressing an issue about working slowly or inefficiently (in a restaurant). "It's important for us to get all the prep work done before the lunchtime rush, so that lunchtime goes more smoothly."
      • Addressing an issue of arriving late. "All staff need to be here by 8:30 so that we'll be ready for customers by 9:00."
    • Suggesting simple strategies:
      • Addressing an issue about arriving late: "You can try taking an earlier bus in order to be sure to arrive at 8:30."
      • Addressing an issue about managing customer complaints: "If a customer is angry about something, you can often defuse the situation by sympathizing with their frustration. You might try looking over the suggestions in the handbook for dealing with customer complaints."
    • Asking questions to help the participant think about solutions
      • Addressing a challenge in a child in a preschool: "Have you noticed any particular situations in which [child] has the most trouble?"
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