13 SMART Goals Examples for Instructional Designers

Instructional designers are responsible for creating effective learning experiences and instructional materials to help individuals acquire new knowledge and skills.

Establishing SMART goals is one of the most critical steps in design thinking. Below we will discuss examples of SMART goals for instructional designers so they can reach their desired outcomes.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART framework will allow instructional designers to develop practical goals. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Here is a better explanation of each SMART criterion:


As an instructional designer, transitioning from vision to reality is often challenging. You know where you want your learners to be at the end of the course, but how do you get them there?

The answer may lie in specificity. By drilling down the specifics of your desired outcomes and objectives, you can create a roadmap for success.


Instructional designers must be able to quantify progress to reach their goals. Rather than stating that learners should “improve their skills,” try focusing on “increasing accuracy by 5%.” This provides a benchmark for progress and allows designers and learners to measure successes along the way.


Strive for progress over perfection—don’t worry about making mistakes or taking a few steps back—keep pushing forward one day at a time. Setting achievable goals doesn’t mean aiming low; think of it as taking the necessary steps toward more remarkable accomplishments.


Creating relevant goals that align with your core values is crucial for living an intentional and meaningful life. Without clearly defined goals, staying inspired can be difficult. But when you set goals that connect with your aspirations, you have a better chance of meeting them, no matter the obstacles in your way.


With a strict deadline, you will do everything necessary to always keep sight of your desired goals. After all, to reach your destination, you must know where you’re going in order to get there.

13 SMART Goals Examples for Instructional Designers

Here are 13 examples of SMART goals for instructional designers:

1. Increase Student Satisfaction

“I will work to increase student satisfaction by 10% within 6 months through an improved design and more user-friendly features. I plan to do this by conducting research, gathering feedback, and implementing changes based on the findings.”

Specific: The goal details the objective, what will be done to achieve it, and the timeline.

Measurable: You could measure student satisfaction by conducting surveys or collecting feedback.

Attainable: It is realistic to increase student satisfaction by 10% within 6 months.

Relevant: This SMART statement applies to improving the user experience for students.

Time-based: There is a 6-month timeline for completing this goal.

2. Enhance Quality of Instructional Design

“To deliver quality instructional designs, I’ll use the ADDIE model and review my designs according to the Quality Matters Rubric within three months. I want to make sure my designs meet the established standards of quality.”

Specific: This goal outlines what you need to do (use the ADDIE model and review your designs according to the Quality Matters Rubric).

Measurable: Count the number of instructional designs you’ve completed using the ADDIE model and are reviewed according to the Quality Matters Rubric.

Attainable: Using the ADDIE model and reviewing designs is definitely possible for anyone.

Relevant: Enhancing the quality of instructional design is essential for any instructional designer.

Time-based: Goal achievement should occur after three months.

3. Strengthen Collaboration

“Within three months, I want to implement a new collaboration platform to help us work together more efficiently across departments. This solution should help us foster better team communication and understanding, reducing friction between departments.”

Specific: The SMART goal is well-defined, stating precisely the objective and how it will be reached.

Measurable: By implementing a new collaboration platform, the company will be able to track the success of team communication and understanding.

Attainable: This goal can be met by researching and investing in the best collaboration platform available on the market.

Relevant: This is relevant to teamwork because it helps departments collaborate better, improving overall communication.

Time-based: The goal has a three-month end date for implementation.

4. Increase Learner Engagement

“My aim is to increase learner engagement by 10% in the following 6 months. I plan to create interactive activities that promote higher-order thinking, such as simulations, role plays, and case studies.”

Specific: This goal is explicit as it outlines a target with a clear deadline.

Measurable: You can evaluate student engagement differences before and after the activities.

Attainable: The timeline for meeting this goal is realistic, and the type of activities used to reach it is achievable.

Relevant: Increasing learner engagement is integral to teaching and learning, so this goal is appropriate.

Time-based: Six months are required to boost learner engagement by 10%.

5. Streamline Course Creation Process

“To make the learning experience more effective, I’ll analyze the current course creation process, identify pain points, and create a streamlined process within four months. This will reduce time-to-market and ensure the quality of the courses created.”

Specific: You’re looking to analyze the current course creation process, identify pain points, and create a streamlined process.

Measurable: You’ll be able to measure the process improvement by comparing the time needed for course creation before and after.

Attainable: This goal is feasible because the instructional designer is taking active steps to analyze the process and create a more effective system.

Relevant: This is relevant as it focuses on creating a more effective learning experience.

Time-based: The statement is time-bound because it has a specific end date of four months.

6. Enhance Content Delivery

“I’ll develop a strategy to improve the delivery of instructional content within 5 months. I will analyze current content delivery methods and identify areas for improvement. I hope to integrate new methods to enhance the user experience and optimize content delivery.”

Specific: The SMART goal is explicit because it outlines the steps needed to improve content delivery.

Measurable: You could measure the success of your content delivery strategy by analyzing user feedback and engagement.

Attainable: Enhancing content delivery can be achieved within the time frame.

Relevant: The goal is relevant to improving the delivery of instructional content.

Time-based: Goal attainment is anticipated within 5 months.

7. Integrate Technology into Courses

“By the end of 7 months, I’ll develop four courses that integrate current technology tools and platforms to help students learn more effectively. I want to allow students to master new skills engagingly and interactively.”

Specific: This goal focuses on developing four courses incorporating technology tools.

Measurable: Make sure four courses with technology platforms will be created in 7 months.

Attainable: This is achievable if the designer knows the current technology tools available.

Relevant: Integrating new technologies into courses can motivate students to learn more effectively.

Time-based: There is a 7-month window for success.

technology tools

8. Develop Interactive Content

“I’ll create interactive content for two new instructional modules this quarter. My goal is to engage learners and make their learning experience more enjoyable. I’ll also collect feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of my interactive content strategy.”

Specific: You are tasked with creating interactive content for two new instructional modules.

Measurable: Evaluating learner feedback will give you a quantifiable indicator of success.

Attainable: The statement is doable with sufficient time, effort, and resources.

Relevant: Your goal directly relates to learner engagement and making learning experiences more enjoyable.

Time-based: You have until the end of the quarter to complete the goal.

9. Improve Course Completion Rate

“I will create and implement a program that incentivizes students to complete their courses within four months. I’ll establish and communicate clear deadlines, award prizes for successful completion of courses, and provide students with support material to help them stay on track.”

Specific: This goal is explicit because it outlines the steps needed to incentivize course completion.

Measurable: You can track the number of students that complete courses within four months.

Attainable: This goal is possible if you have the motivation and resources to incentivize course completion.

Relevant: For instructional designers, improving the course completion rate is a suitable goal.

Time-based: You will accomplish this goal within four months.

10. Reduce Instructional Design Time

“I’ll reduce the time it takes to complete an instructional design project by 10% (from 4 weeks to 3.6 weeks) in the next 8 months. I will optimize the design process and streamline workflows to create a more efficient system.”

Specific: Reducing the time required to complete an instructional design project by 10%.

Measurable: Measure the completion time for each design project and compare the results to the original completion time.

Attainable: By streamlining workflows, the project timeline can definitely be optimized.

Relevant: This is relevant for instructional designers who wish to become more efficient and complete projects faster.

Time-based: The goal has an 8-month timeline.

11. Produce Accessible Digital Content

“I will create digital content accessible to all learners, regardless of ability or disability level. Over 6 months, I’ll ensure all text is readable, images have alt tags, and videos have captioning and transcripts.”

Specific: The SMART goal is easy to understand. You must create digital content accessible to all learners, regardless of ability or disability level.

Measurable: Ensure all text is readable, images have alt tags, and videos have captioning and transcripts.

Attainable: Accessible digital content can be developed with the right resources.

Relevant: Creating digital content accessible to all learners is an essential goal for instructional designers.

Time-based: This goal statement should be achieved over 6 months.

12. Implement Blended Learning Approaches

“I plan to use blended learning approaches to ensure learners engage with the content in meaningful ways and retain information more effectively. I want to implement e-learning modules, videos, gamification, and other interactive elements within 7 months.”

Specific: This goal outlines the type of approaches (e-learning modules, videos, etc.) you need to use.

Measurable: You can check the success of your approaches and ensure that learners are completing modules, watching videos, etc.

Attainable: Designing and implementing blended learning approaches are achievable tasks.

Relevant: Using blended learning approaches is necessary for effective engagement and retention for learners.

Time-based: You should be able to complete this goal within 7 months.

13. Adapt to Changes

“I will stay updated on the ever-changing trends, technologies, and best practices in eLearning by attending at least three conferences related to instructional design for the next year.”

Specific: This goal deals specifically with staying updated on the eLearning industry.

Measurable: The instructional designer can measure progress by attending conferences and other related events.

Attainable: Attending three conferences a year is a reasonable goal for a designer to stay up to date on changes within the industry.

Relevant: Staying up to date on the latest trends, technologies, and best practices is a pertinent goal for an instructional designer.

Time-based: You must reach this goal within one year.

Final Thoughts

SMART goals allow instructional designers to create highly efficient learning experiences. With these examples in mind, designers can easily customize their goals to suit the needs of their learners.

When clear objectives are assigned, the student learning experience is significantly improved. Designers should realize that SMART goals are an ever-evolving toolkit and must be adjusted to ensure the best possible results.

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Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.