Website Navigation for Screen Readers

Writing Effective and Measurable Learning Objectives

Definition:

A learning objective is student centric; it states what the student will learn and be able to accomplish by the end of instruction. It describes a specific behavior which will lead to the desired goal. It is specific and measurable. It has three major components:

  1. What the student will be able to
  2. Conditions needed for the student to accomplish the
  3. Criteria for evaluating the student

How to write learning objectives:

Learning objectives emphasize:

  1. students’ performance
  2. end product
  3. what students learned

Learning objectives do not emphasize:

  1. teacher performance
  2. subject matter
  3. how knowledge was acquired

Learning objectives should have the following S.M.A.R.T. attributes.

Specific – Statement of learning are concise and well defined in describing what students will be able to do.

Measurable – Use action / measurable verbs that can be observed through any assessment such as test, homework, or project etc. to describe what the student will be able to do.  (see list attached to this document).

Attainable – Ensure that students will have the pre-requisite knowledge by the end of the course in able to achieve the stated learning objectives.

Relevant – The stated skills or knowledge are appropriate for the program and the course as described in the curriculum.

Time-bound – State when students should be able to demonstrate the knowledge or skill (mid or end of course or end of program, etc.).

BLOOM’s Taxonomy

Follow Bloom’s Taxonomy cognitive process to state your learning objectives. Ensure that the stated objectives describe a progressive cognitive process that represents a continuum of increasing cognitive complexity.

                            Cognitive Process

On a continuum of learning, students start by:

Remembering – recalling previous knowledge.

Understanding – understanding new information and presenting it in their own words.

Applying – applying what they learned into authentic settings.

Analyzing – distinguishing between facts and inferences and recognizing logical fallacies in reasoning.

Evaluating – making judgment about ideas, materials or values.

Creating – putting the parts learned together to create a whole, with a focus on creating meaning or structure.

Putting it Together

Program and Course Level Objectives

  1. Create Program Learning objectives that will be addressed multiple times in your core course offering.
  2. Identify which objectives are addressed in what course.
  3. Identify assessments, direct, indirect, formative, summative to assess whether the students have attained the desired learning.
  4. Assess all objectives multiple times to map a continuum of improvement.
  5. Create a Program Matrix to ensure that all stated objectives were addressed multiple times in core curriculum offerings of the program. (See module on Creating a Program Matrix)

Assignments/Measures

  1. At the assignment level, the Course Learning Objectives stated for the course are too broad and they need to be reworded into basic measurable outcomes as defined or stated in the assignment.
  2. They must map directly to a specific Course Learning Objective.
  3. If applicable, rubrics should guide the evaluation of each assessment and results should be gathered to measure learning. (See module on Creating Effective Rubrics)

ACTION VERBS APPROPRIATE FOR EACH LEVEL OF BLOOM’S/ANDERSON & KRATHWOHL’S TAXONOMY
(Cognitive Domain)

Remember
Recall facts and basic concepts
Define
Identify
List
Name
Recall
Recognize
Record
Relate
Repeat
Underline
Understand
Explain ideas and concepts
Choose
Cite
Demonstrate
Describe
Determine
Differentiate
Discriminate
Discuss
Explain
Express
Give
Identify
Interpret
Locate
Pick
Practice
Report
Respond
Restate
Review
Recognize
Select
Simulate
Tell
Translate
Apply
Use information in new situations
Apply
Demonstrate
Dramatize
Employ
Generalize
Illustrate
Initiate
Interpret
Operate
Operationalize
Practice
Relate
Schedule
Shop
Use
Utilize
Analyze
Draw connections among ideas
Analyze
Appraise
Calculate
Categorize
Compare
Conclude
Contrast
Correlate
Criticize
Deduce
Debate
Detect
Determine
Develop
Diagram
Diagnose
Differentiate Distinguish
Draw conclusion
Estimate
Evaluate
Examine
Experiment
Identify
Infer
Inspect
Inventory
Predict
Question
Relate
Solve
Test
Evaluate
Justify a stand or decision
Appraise
Assess
Choose
Compare
Critique
Estimate
Evaluate
Judge
Measure
Rate
Revise
Score
Select
Test
Validate
Value
Create
Produce new or original work
Arrange
Assemble
Collect
Compose
Construct
Create
Design
Develop
Devise
Formulate
Manage
Modify
Organize
Plan
Prepare
Produce
Propose
Predict
Reconstruct
Set-up
Synthesize
Systematize

References

Anderson, L.W., & Krathwohl (Eds.). (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman.

Bloom, B.S. and Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals, by a committee of college and university examiners. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. NY, NY: Longmans, Green.

Website Footer Navigation