Friday, July 20, 2012

Tag Point vs End Point

Today Cathy Beyer, a long time TAGteacher and attedee at the recent seminar in Boston posted this to the TAGteach yahoo group:
The most helpful lesson I learned at the Boston seminar was to separate the directions from the tag point. Prior to that I only understood lesson and tag point, so I ended up trying to make the tagpoint a direction. Understanding the difference has given TAGteach application wings. Now I'm trying to separate the concepts of tag point from the goal of the TAGteach application. I was developing a "small money management" protocol using TAGteach this morning and realized I need that endpoint, the measurable outcome, to help stay on track with the breakdown of lesson/direction/tag point.

The endpoint is tangible proof that the GOAL is reached. An endpoint is critical. It's the problem you want to solve. It's the object you want to obtain. It's the skill you want to master. It's the measurable outcome. It's the ultimate motivator for both leader and learner.

Question: Is "endpoint" already part of the TAGteach language?
This issue of tag point vs end point, or is the tag point actually the end point came up in several discussions over the weekend.

To answer Cathy's question, no we have not been using the term end point as part of the TAGteach language.

To address this issue of tag point vs end point we must first define what we mean by end point. Is the end point the overall goal of the learning? For example, playing tennis in the 2012 summer Olympics. Or is the end point the smaller goal of the current learning session. For example, joining two dots to form the upright of the letter L. In the tennis example, the end point could never be a tag point because the goal is too broad and is made up of too many components. In the second example, the end point could well be achieved through the tag point "dot to dot".

The end point or ultimate goal to which Cathy refers is the final outcome of the learning process. This is the final winning moment that marks the achievement of the learning goal. The tag point itself is rarely, if ever, this ultimate goal. TAGteach provides tools to help reach this ultimate goal and provides a way to identify, mark and reinforce small successes along the way to keep motivation high.

During the evolution of TAGteach we have found that in fact there is a more useful way to define the tag point that does not involve consideration of the end point or ultimate goal, or sub-goal or whatever we want to call the target behavior. The tag point is simply the behavior that you are going to mark.

The tag point may occur at the beginning, middle or at the end of a sequence of behaviors. In some cases it may occur at all three! Here is an example of that. This is one of our classic videos that shows Theresa McKeon tagging with a group of gymnasts. Here the directions are to complete a series of back handsprings, keeping shoulder to ears at the start, in the handspring and at the end. The tag point is shoulders to ears.

This position can occur at the beginning, during the handspring and at the end.

In another example the tag point could fall only the in the middle of the sequence. For example the tag point "arch back" in the high jump occurs in the middle and cannot occur without some action occurring both before and after. The tag point "pull tight" in shoe tying occurs at the end of the sequence. The tag point is simply the behavior you are going to mark, it does not matter where it occurs in the series of actions.

If you are a certified TAGteacher, be sure to sign up for our FREE webinar on TAGteach updates to learn more about the issues that Cathy mentioned in her post.

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