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:
Learning objectives emphasize:
Learning objectives do not emphasize:
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.).
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.
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.
(Bloom’s/Anderson & Krathwohl’s Taxonomy – Cognitive Domain)
Recall facts and basic concepts
Explain ideas and concepts
Use information in new situations
Draw connections among ideas
Justify a stand or decision
Produce new or original work
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.
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