How Can We Improve Teacher Practice?

October 13, 2022

Implementation integrity is one of the most critical features to ensure that evidence-based practices are effective. Educators are always in search of methods that will increase implementation integrity. One of the most researched approaches is performance feedback. Much less evaluated is the combination of goal setting and feedback. Criss and colleagues (2022) conducted a systematic review of the effects of goal setting combined with performance feedback. They identified 22 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Overall, the results suggest that goal setting, combined with performance feedback, was an efficacious method for increasing implementation integrity. Additionally, goal setting and feedback factors likely contributed to better outcomes.

Interestingly, teacher created goals resulted in better outcomes than when a consultant made the goals alone or when the teacher and consultant collaboratively developed goals. In most studies, goals were established during baseline. They produced moderate to large effect sizes in randomized clinical studies, and moderate success estimates in studies based on single case designs. Providing feedback on progress toward goals was most effective and closely followed by discussing goals during feedback. Setting goals during baseline with no further discussion resulted in the weakest effects.

Practices related to feedback that seemed to increase effectiveness were identified. Data presented visually yielded high success estimates in single case studies and moderate to large effect sizes in randomized clinical trials. Verbal feedback, written feedback, and emailed written feedback all produced more moderate effects but were still effective.

This review does not clearly show how much feedback contributed to these outcomes and how much goal setting was responsible for them. Regardless, educators can feel confident combining the two strategies can increase implementation integrity. The specific methods used for providing feedback will depend on the resources available. Ideally, feedback would be related to teacher-created goals with visual feedback for progress toward goals. Resources may not be available to meet individually with each teacher, so it may be necessary to send written and visual feedback to each of the teachers about their progress toward their goals.


Criss, C. J., Konrad, M., Alber-Morgan, S. R., & Brock, M. E. (2022). A Systematic Review of Goal Setting and Performance Feedback to Improve Teacher Practice. Journal of Behavioral Education, 1-22.

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