Developing Course Objectives
Objectives describe what learners will be able to do at the end of instruction, and they provide clear reasons for teaching. When writing objectives be sure to describe the intended result of instruction rather than the process of instruction itself.
Clearly defined learning objectives are useful for instructors, instructional designers and students:
Components of an objective:
When writing learning objectives, avoid terms that cannot be clearly understood by the reader. It is necessary to communicate an objective as clearly as possible to avoid misinterpretation.
A useful objective successfully describes an intended instructional result by describing the purpose of the instruction. The BEST statement is one that excludes the greatest number of possible meanings other than the one intended. In other words, it succeeds in communicating the intent of instruction yet avoids misinterpretation.
The ABCD's of Learning Objectives includes four characteristics that help an objective communicate an intent:
Degree (or criterion)
Kinds of Objectives
Objectives can be written for any type of learning. A common way to categorize learning is by the domain in which it occurs. The three domains and ensuing type of objectives include:
Thought or knowledgeObjectives describe: "what the student is able to do" (observable)
Feelings or choicesObjectives describe : "how the student chooses to act"
Physical skillsObjectives describe: "what the student can perform"
Written objectives take two forms depending on the domain of learning. Examples include:
"Learner will be able to" (LWBAT)
"Learner will choose to" (LWCT)
Difference Between Goals and Objectives
Goals are broad objectives are narrow.
Remember the ABCD's of writing clear learning
Action verbs help to align objectives to an observable behavior. The following resource provides a good list of action verbs that are effective in learning objectives.
Education Oasis, Action Verbs for Lesson Objectives, http://www.educationoasis.com/instruction/bt/learning_objectives.htm
Adapted from Understanding
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