The ABCD Model for Writing Objectives Identifying a clear instructional goal or goals represents a critical first step

in the instructional design process. The more clearly teachers articulate their instructional goals, the more clear and focused their teaching becomes which research indicates results in better student learning. The ABCD model breaks instructional objecti es into four parts! Audience! describes who the learners are. Behavior! describes what students will learn or be able to do as a result of completing the instruction. Condition! describes the circumstances under which the learning will occur. In other words, describes re"uired resources or materials students would need access to. Degree! describes the le el of mastery students must demonstrate to indicate they successfully mastered the objecti e. Both the Audience and Beha ior are found in all instructional objecti es, howe er, many objecti es lack Conditions or a statement of Degree. Conditions are often omitted as they are intuiti ely ob ious. #or e$ample, a di ing coach writing an objecti e for teaching a back flip would not need to include a Condition about a pool and di ing board% clearly, the di e could not be completed without them. &hen a Degree is omitted it implies students should meet the objecti e '(() of the time or with '(() accuracy. The Beha ior represents the most critical aspect of an instructional objecti e. Beha iors are stated using erbs, and not just any erb will do. *bjecti es re"uire the use of action erbs such as describe, state, identify, compare, analy+e, classify, predict, name or sol e. ,uch erbs describe an obser able action on the part of students which can be e aluated by the teacher to determine if the student has mastered the objecti e. If students don-t do anything acti ely obser able, how could the teacher know they learned anything. Accordingly, erbs such as understand, learn, know or realize are unacceptable as they don-t represent an o ertly obser able action on the part of students to demonstrate their mastery. The Bloom/s Ta$onomy Breakdown can help identify o ertly obser able action erbs for the different le els of Bloom/s Ta$onomy which can be used to create well written instructional objecti es. *bjecti es are directly tied to assessment in that the Beha ior e$pressed as an action erb suggests what form appropriate assessment might take. #or e$ample, an objecti e using the erb 0describe1 might be assessed with a short answer "uestion. An objecti e using the erb name might be assessed with a fill in the blank "uestion. An objecti e using the erb identify might be assessed by a multiple2choice "uestion or ha ing students circle representati e e$amples of a concept such as images of s"uares. *bjecti es using the word solve might be assessed by ha ing students find the solutions to mathematical problems. *bjecti es using the word compare might be assessed by ha ing students write a paragraph or essay.


>iewing a ideo is an e$perience in which students might participate for the purpose of learning about .e. The distinction between an acti ity and an objecti e is illustrated by the following statements. The remainder of this paper is adapted from Teaching for Competence by :oward . with instructional acti ities. lessons generally wander in an unfocused and ineffecti e manner. '. 5i en e$amples and non2e$amples of constructi ist acti ities in a college classroom.. Activities !ersus Objectives &hen trying to write instructional objecti es people often confuse objecti es. Distinguishing *bjecti es from Acti ities < .ati e American legends and their significance in . Beha ior 3B4.ati e American culture. is an instructional objecti e 9 a skill the teacher might want students to ac"uire from a unit on .ati e American legends and describe the significance of each in its .4.ulli an and .ati e American culture. on the other hand. 5i en a sentence written in the past or present tense. *bjecti es represent ends of instruction% acti ities represent means to these ends. An objective describes a skill or knowledge students will be expected to possess after instruction. the facts or skills students are e$pected to ha e mastered as a result of completing instruction. The second statement. In the absence of a clear instructional intent. Condition 3C4 and Degree 3D4. an activity is a learning experience in which students participate for the purpose of attaining an objective. students will e$plain why each is or isn-t reflecti e of constructi ist teaching practices with 6() accuracy. &hy is differentiating between acti ities and objecti es important. <. =ou can see that the first statement is an e$ample of an acti ity. I will see her yesterday. *bjecti es focus on what is learned by students while acti ities describe what students do during instruction in order to learn it. . The student will tell at least three well2known . The student will iew a ideo about famous . the things students did in order to learn the facts or skills.Examples of Well Written Objectives Below are some e$ample objecti es which include Audience 3A4. *nce you ha e identified the objecti e3s4 you can then consider the arious acti ities and e$periences you might ha e students complete to support their mastering of the instructional objecti es. students will rewrite the sentence in future tense with no errors or tense contradictions 3i.ati e Americans.helley and 7eats.tudents will identify similarities and differences in perspecti es on lo e in the poetry of Byron.ati e American legends.orman :iggins! A common error in working with instructional objecti es is to confuse objecti es and acti ities. In contrast. 8ffecti e instructional design begins with de eloping a clear target for your instruction 9 the objecti e. .

market it as an objecti e. D. #or this reason you may ha e had difficulty with one or more items abo e. 8ach describes a skill teachers might want students to possess after instruction.&rite an * in the blank beside each instructional objecti e and an A beside each instructional acti ity. Worth"hile Objectives Deciding what skills are important for students to master is a major responsibility of e ery teacher. then the objecti e is worthwhile. If you think an item could be both an objecti e and an acti ity. The student will sound out and read new words. @et-s try a few more! &rite an * in the blank beside each instructional objecti e and an A beside each instructional acti ity. It is also one that is often o erlooked or taken too lightly because it/s so easy to use published materials without gi ing much thought to their appropriateness. :ere/s an e$ample to help make the point.hakespearean plays and summari+e the plot of Items A. draw a mural depicting life among pilgrims. The student will read Chapter A in the science book and underline the important to remember. The student will name four . A . Bust remember that objecti es are statements of skills or knowledge you want students to ac"uire from instruction. and 8 are objecti es. then why ha e students take time to meet the objecti e. A good way to do this is simply to answer the following "uestions! '. Is this a skill or content students will actually use in life. The student will tell time to the nearest fi e2minute mark. with a group of classmates. The student will take a field trip to the art museum. If not. The student will write a business letter. The student will sol e long2di ision problems. acti ities are learning e$periences in which students participate for the purpose of ac"uiring the skills. If not. The student will practice multiplication tables. =ou may sometimes ha e difficulty telling whether an item is an acti ity or an objecti e when it/s written by someone else. If the answer to either of the "uestions abo e is yes. That-s because you can-t always be certain of the other person-s intent. B. a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? each. In contrast. a4 b4 c4 d4 ????? ????? ????? ????? things e4 ????? the The student will discuss the reasons for &orld &ar I. =ou won-t ha e this difficulty when working with your own objecti es and acti ities. The student will. is this skill or content re"uired in order to ac"uire another useful skill. <. =ou should ha e marked items B and C as instructional objecti es. As teachers we should e$amine each potential objecti e to determine whether it/s worthwhile. Items C and D are acti ities 9 e$periences in which students could participate for learning purposes. and 8 are acti ities. Items A.

Cemori+ation of facts for no larger purpose represents tri ial pursuit. Does knowing the names of the planets in order from the sun represent basic knowledge all people should ha e. and the information does not form the basis for ac"uiring other meaningful skills or understandings. adjecti es. Both these objecti es can be considered to be worthwhile 9 the first because it is re"uired to master the second% the second because it demonstrates more meaningful understanding and students are likely to use it in later life. The answer isn-t fully clear and depends on your perspecti e.tudents will identify e$amples of each part of speech in a passage containing one or more e$amples of each part. howe er. '.tudents should be asked to apply new learning in real2world. It-s important to recogni+e. . educated people should know including the days of the week. students will write in the name each county. H . :ere/s another e$ample! . months of the year and the names of the continents and oceans. when students learn a definition but do not apply it. <. . In many lessons. The second objecti e re"uires students to identify e$amples of the content being taught. Additionally. preposition. for e$ample. meaningful ways rather than limiting them to mindless memori+ation.o what-s the point of asking kids to master this objecti e. I doubt that. a skill they are more likely to use in life and one that demonstrates greater understanding of the content. There are some basic facts we might all agree that informed. conjunction. ????? . ????? .ew Ce$ico. this is a perfectly written objecti e 9 but is it worthwhile. check your answers with the key at the end of this document. &hen you ha e finished. This may occur. the instruction stops short of dealing meaningfully with the content being taught. :ere are two objecti es to illustrate this point! . According to the ABCD criteria. a low2le el of Bloom-s ta$onomy.tudents will name the four families of musical instruments 3strings. Do you think this is a worthwhile objecti e. that teaching the first objecti e without ad ancing to the second represents a focus on low le els of Bloom-s ta$onomy. I doubt itF Is your ability to function successfully in life compromised by your inability to write the names of all AA . Could you meet this objecti e. =ou tell me 9 as I said. this information can be easily googled at any time. it depends on your perspecti e. This objecti e re"uires students to memori+e facts.8T ADE lesson plan I recei ed included the following objecti e! gi en a blank map of . pronoun. and interjection.tudents will memori+e the names of the planets in order from the sun. erb. tooF . and brass4. percussion.tudents will know the procedure for locating geographic sites on a world map when gi en their latitude and longitude. #ho" What $ou %no"& Cark an G by each objecti e below which is well2written according to the ABCD criteria. .tudents will define each of the eight parts of speech! noun. woodwinds. ad erbs.uch instruction fre"uently focuses on memori+ation of information rather than applying information in some meaningful way. The first of these objecti es merely re"uires students to gi e definitions of terms 9 definitions that can be memori+ed with little or no understanding.*ne C.C counties on a blank map of the state.

I. ????? . ''. ????? .tudents will describe each of the four steps in the process of cell di ision. . 6.A. students will name the artist and the title of each painting. ????? . and Dali. E. J. students will write an original business letter according to the form specified in class.tudents will label the four parts of a flower. Ciro. ????? .tudents will describe the theme of To Kill a Mockingbird. H. '(. ????? 5i en color photographs of well2known paintings by Kicasso. ????? . ????? The teacher will describe the procedure for multiplying proper fractions. Chagall. D.tudents will comprehend the general meaning of the Declaration of Independence. E . ????? . ????? 5i en a paper and pen.tudents will learn the capitals of all E( states.croll down for the answers.tudents will correctly pronounce the new science ocabulary words.

. Item D fails to meet the ABCD criteria as it describes a teacher performance rather than a student performance. .Ans"er %e'( Item ' meets the ABCD criteria for a well written objecti e. Item A fails to meet the ABCD criteria due to the use of the erb comprehend which is a non2 obser able synonym for the word know. Teaching for Competence. Item J is not well2written as it fails to specify what students are gi en to label 2 a real flower or a diagram of a flower.ew =ork. D .. Leferences . :. Item '' fails to meet the criteria for a well written objecti e because the 0gi en paper and pen1 statement is so ob ious it should not be included. Teachers can-t identify what students know if they don-t perform some sort of action. Items H and E meet the ABCD criteria for a well written objecti e. Item < fails to meet the ABCD criteria due to use of the erb know which is a non2obser able erb. 3'6JA4. M :iggins.ulli an. Items 6 and '( meet the ABCD criteria for a well written objecti e.ew =ork! Teachers College Kress. Item I fails to meet the ABCD criteria due to use of the erb learn which is non2obser able just like the erbs know and comprehend. .

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