What is a learning objective?
* A learning objective answers the question: What is it that your students should be able to do at the end of the class session and course that they could not do before? * A learning objective makes clear the intended learning outcome rather than what form the instruction will take. * Learning objectives focus on student performance. Action verbs that are specific, such as list, describes, report, compare, demonstrate, and analyze, should state the behaviors students will be expected to perform. Well-written learning objectives can give students precise statements of what is expected of them and provide guidelines for assessing student progress. Our goal for students is learning and if students don’t know what they should be able to do at the end of class then it will be difficult for them to reach that goal. Clearly defined objectives form the foundation for selecting appropriate content, learning activities, and assessment measures. If objectives of the course are not clearly understood by both instructor and students, if the learning activities do not relate to the objectives and the content that you think is important, then your methods of assessment, which are supposed to indicate to both learner and instructor how effective the learning and teaching process has been, will be at best misleading, and, at worst, irrelevant or unfair. Learning objectives
Specific statements describing what you and your students intend to achieve as a result of learning that occurs both in class and outside of class. They can be categorized in the following way: 1. Cognitive objectives emphasize knowing, conceptualizing, comprehending, applying, synthesizing, and evaluating. These objectives deal with students’ knowledge of the subject matter, and how students demonstrate this knowledge. 2. Psychomotor objectives involve the physical skills and dexterity related to the instruction. Successful instruction involves teaching new skills or coordination of old ones Attitudinal objectives
Specific statements about attitudes, values and emotions, which students will have as a result of taking part in class activities. What learning objectives emphasize
Learning objectives emphasize observed activity, student activity and student outcomes. Advantages of using learning objectives
Writing and using learning objectives has numerous advantages. Writing learning objectives using Bloom's Taxonomy
Bloom’s Taxonomy of the cognitive domain, or thinking skills, can be helpful in constructing course learning objectives. Bloom and colleagues found that over 95% of exam questions required students to activate low-level thinking skills such as recall (1956). In addition, research has shown that students remember more content when they have learned a topic through higher thinking skills such as application or evaluation. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy as a guide, you can create learning objectives and exam questions that activate and assess different, as well as higher, levels of student thinking. Bloom’s Taxonomy
Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchy of six cognitive skills arranged from less to more complex.
Recognizes students’ ability to use rote memorization and recall certain facts. Action verbs to help write objectives or exam questions for this domain: cite, define, identify, label, list, match, name, recognize, reproduce, select, state. Example
| Exam questions
The students will recall the four major food groups without error.
| Name the four major food groups.
| The students will list at least three characteristics peculiar to the Cubist movement.
| List three characteristics that are unique to the Cubist movement.
| The students will be able to define gram-positive bacteria.
| Define gram-positive bacteria.
Involves students’ ability to read course content, understand and interpret important information and put other’s ideas into their own...
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