You must log in to this site in order to participate in the forum.
Jones, 1997 – "Clear objectives can help the instructor design lessons that will be easier for the student tocomprehend and the teacher to evaluate".
Lohr, no date – "A properly written objective tells you what specific knowledge, skill, or attitude is desired and what method of instruction and criteria for learner achievement are required."
Writing clear course objectives is important because:
The ABCD method of writing objectives is an excellent starting point for writing objectives (Heinich, et al., 1996). In this system, "A" is for audience, "B" is for behavior, "C" for conditions and "D" for degree of mastery needed.
Below are some example objectives which include Audience (A), Behavior (B), Condition (C), and Degree of Mastery (D). Note that many objectives actually put the condition first.
Cognitive (comprehension level) -"C: Given examples and non-examples of constructivist activities in a college classroom, A: the student B: will be able to accurately identify the constructivist examples and explain why each example is or isn't a constructivist activity D: in 20 words or less."
Cognitive (application level) -"C: Given a sentence written in the past or present tense, A: the student B: will be able to re-write the sentence in future tense D: with no errors in tense or tense contradiction (i.e., I will see her yesterday.)."
Cognitive (problem solving/synthesis level) -"C: Given two cartoon characters of the student's choice, A: the student B: will be able to list five major personality traits of each of the two characters, combine these traits (either by melding traits together, multiplying together complimentary traits, or negating opposing traits) into a composite character, and develop a short (no more than 20 frames) storyboard for a cartoon D: that illustrates three to five of the major personality traits of the composite character."
Psychomotor - "C: Given a standard balance beam raised to a standard height, A: the student C: (attired in standard balance beam usage attire) B: will be able to walk the entire length of the balance beam (from one end to the other) D: steadily, without falling off, and within a six second time span."
Affective - "C: Given the opportunity to work in a team with several people of different races, A: the student B: will demonstrate an positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race, D: as measured by a checklist utilized/completed by non-team members."
When reviewing example objectives above, you may notice a few things.
|Too vast/complex||The objective is too broad in scope or is actually more than one objective.||Use the ABCD method to identify each desired behavior or skill in order to break objectives apart.|
|No behavior to evaluate||No true overt, observable performance listed. Many objectives using verbs like "comprehend" or "understand" may not include behaviors to observe.||Determine what actions a student should demonstrate in order for you to know of the material has been learned.|
|Only topics are listed||Describes instruction, not conditions. That is, the instructor may list the topic but not how he or she expects the students to use the information.||Determine how students should use the information presented. Should it be memorized? Used as background knowledge? Applied in a later project? What skills will students need?|
|Vague Assignment Outcomes||The objective does not list the correct behavior, condition, and/or degree, or they are missing. Students may not sure of how to complete assignments because they are lacking specifics.||Determine parameters for your assignments and specify them for your students.|
Once you establish all the behaviors, conditions and degrees of mastery for each objective, you can use them to determine what types of assignments, tests or alternative assessment (e.g. a portfolio) you should use in the course.
The Assessment section discusses how to design methods to evaluate student performance and includes examples using different types of learning objectives.
Dwyer, F. M. (1991). A paradigm for generating curriculum design oriented research questions in distance education. Second American Symposium Research in Distance Education, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University.
Heinrich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J.D., Smaldino, S.E. (1996). Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.
Huitt, W. (2000). Bloom et al.'s taxonomy of the cognitive domain.
Retrieved May 14, 2003, from http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/cogsys/bloom.html
Kizlik, B. (2003). How to write effective behavioral objectives. Boca Raton, FL: Adprima.
Retrieved May 14, 2003, from http://www.adprima.com/objectives.htm
Lohr, L (no date). Objectives, sequencing, strategies.
Retrieved May 14, 2003 from http://www.coe.unco.edu/LindaLohr/home/et502_cbt/Unit3/Unit3_menu.htm
SOGC Org (No date). Writing instructional objectives: The what, why how and when.
Retrieved May 14, 2003, from http://www.sogc.org/conferences/pdfs/instructionalObj.PDF