Big Hairy Audacious Goals and Where to Find Them

Categories3-column tableBHAGEDLD 5313innovation planTagged , ,

In my innovation plan, I have proposed an online Technology-Assisted Music course for my district. There will be a year-long version for students, and a quarter-long professional development version for teachers, aimed at helping these teachers bring the ideas of a growth mindset and creative thinking into their own disciplines and learning environments. The entire innovation plan can be found here; below you will find the learning outcomes and learning and assessment activities for the teacher-targeted professional development version of the course, as well as a description of the driving motivation behind the plan, expressed in the form of what Collins describes, here and in many other places, as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG (2018).

As Harapnuik declares in this video, and states repeatedly in his work on creating significant learning environments, “the best technology disappears” (2015). The BHAG of my innovation plan is for digital audio production technology to do just that: fade into the background of teaching and learning like Google Docs or email have done. Specifically, the BHAG for this part of my innovation plan is:

Learners will be able to use audio and audio production tools to creatively and naturally communicate and to express themselves.

To read in more detail how this goal plays out, please take a look at the following documents related to my innovation plan:

Learning Environment and Situational Factors to Consider

Questions for Formulating Significant Learning Goals 

BHAG and 3-Column Table


Collins, J. (2018). BHAG–Big Hairy Audacious Goal [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Fink, L. D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning.  Retrieved from

Harapnuik, D. (2015, May 8). Creating Significant Learning Environments (CLSE) [Video file]. Retrieved from

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About the author

I am an instructional technologist for the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA. Before that, I spent more than 20 years as a public school music teacher in Chesterfield County, VA, primarily teaching guitar and music technoogy at the high school level. I hold a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Richmond, and a Master of Education degree with a focus on Digital Learning and Leading from Lamar University. I believe that every person has the need, the desire, the ability, and the right to learn, and that as educators we must meet our students wherever they are, and help bring them to where they want and deserve to be.