Advantages of using learning objectives
1. Managing instruction: Objectives may be used by instructors and students to sort and direct learners and learning activities. They may be used for systematic pre-testing, allowing into the course students who demonstrate the required pre-requisite behaviors, redirecting to remedial work those who lack the pre-requisites, skipping ahead those who already have acquired the behaviors that the unit is designed to teach. 2. Managing learning: Whereas management of instruction implies that the control rests with the instructor, management of learning suggests a more active role by the student. Students can use objectives to guide their learning efforts -- choosing appropriate materials, reading selectively, etc. Objectives can also be used for self-evaluation which may direct the student's efforts (e.g., skipping ahead or reviewing). When students are involved in determining objectives they develop an awareness of the difficulties in defining what it is they want to learn and of choosing from among equally attractive options. 3. Planning instruction: Once you have developed learning objectives for a course you can more rationally sequence instruction, allot time to topics, assemble materials, prepare outlines and booklists, etc. Learning objectives can also be used as a guide to teaching, as when you plan different instructional methods for presenting various types of content based on the desired learning outcomes (e.g., small-group editing of reports to give students experience in evaluating content logic and correct usage). A re-examination of course content may result from a look at the learning objectives for the course. After comparing previous examinations with your newly developed learning objectives, you may discover that you have been testing materials which are illustrative, but which are not really essential to the students' mastery of the content/concepts. 4. Enhancing learning: If the student has a...
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