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Writing Good Learning Objectives - Handout

Writing Good Learning Objectives - Handout

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Published by: mrneilhartesq on Jul 15, 2009
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10/19/2010

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WRITING GOOD LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Purpose & uses:
Facilitate course development & evaluation
Encourage goal-orientated planning
 Articulate the goal of the lesson
 Teachers need to know what skills and behaviours should result from thelesson
Communicate intent to learner 
By dispelling unrealistic expectations students gain a clear sense of current status and desired outcome to better measure their progress
Provide a means for evaluation & assessment 
Establish a standard against which learning can be measured, byidentifying appropriate evidence for that learning
 Assist in selection of materials, content, methods
 To effectively choose appropriate training tools, teachers must be clear aboutwhat their students should achieve
What makes a good learning objective? 
It must be:
SPECIFIC
Describes learner’s behaviour, notteacher’sBegin with
“By the end of thelesson students will be able to…”
No ambiguity, for benefit of learner &assessor (terminology with a singleinterpretation)Keep statements short
MEASURABLE
Sometimes called ‘Performance’ or‘Behavioural’ objectivesSet a standard in terms of time,space, amount and/or frequencyKeep statements focused onoutcomeDefine or describe an action, usingan effective action verb (see below)
Action verbs to use
How can you tell if someone really or
understands
something? The verbs used in theobjective must indicate
observable
behaviour:
AVOID
USING:knowcomprehendunderstandappreciatestudybecome familiar withrealiselearncoverbe aware o
INSTEAD
USE:LISTIDENTIFYSTATEDESCRIBEDEFINESOLVECOMPARE & CONTRASTOPERATEANALYSECREATEDISCUSS
 John James 2008
 
 
APPLYASSESSDEVELOP(see over for a more comprehensive list)
 John James 2008
 
Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives (1956)differentiates between three domains of learning: cognitive, affectiveand psychomotor. Good planning will ensure that learning objectivestarget a range of associated skills.
Domain Target Focus
CognitiveKnowledge, intellectual skillsMindAffectiveAttitudes, interests, feelings,values, adjustmentsSpiritPsychomotorMotor and manipulations skillsBody
When setting objectives, select the emphasis of learning and therelevant verb:
Domain Emphasis Relevant Verbs
CognitiveKnowledgeRecall, identify, recognize, acquire, distinguish, state, define, name, list, label, reproduce,order CognitiveComprehensionTranslate, extrapolate, convert, interpret, abstract, transform, select, indicate, illustrate,represent, formulate, explain, classifyCognitiveApplicationApply, sequence, carry out, solve, prepare, operate, generalize, plan, repair, explain,predict, demonstrate, instruct, compute, use, perform, implement, employ, solveCognitiveAnalysisAnalyze, estimate, compare, observe, detect, classify, discover, discriminate, explore,distinguish, catalogue, investigate, breakdown, order, determine, differentiate, dissect,contrast, examine, interpretCognitiveSynthesisWrite, plan, integrate, formulate, propose, specify, produce, organize, theorize, design,build, systematize, combine, summarize, restate, argue, discuss, derive, relate, generalize,conclude, produceCognitiveEvaluationEvaluate, verify, assess, test, judge, rank, measure, appraise, select, check, judge, justify,evaluate, determine, support, defend, criticize, weigh, assessAffectiveAgree, avoid, support, participate, cooperate, praise, help, offer, joinPsychomotorAdjust, repair, taste, bend, measure, perform, operate, use, move
 John James 2008

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