Writing instructional objectives
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Writing instructional objectives



This presentation discusses the rationale for using objectives in lesson planning, the approaches to writing objectives and classifying objectives once they have been written.

This presentation discusses the rationale for using objectives in lesson planning, the approaches to writing objectives and classifying objectives once they have been written.



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Writing instructional objectives Writing instructional objectives Presentation Transcript

  • Writing Instructional Objectives (source: Morrison, Gary R. Designing Effective Instruction, 6th Edition. John Wiley & Sons)
    Prepared by: Leesha Roberts, Instructor II, Valsayn Campus, Center for Education Programmes, UTT
  • QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER(Morrison, Gary R. Designing Effective Instruction, 6th Edition. John Wiley & Sons, 022010. p. 107)
    ‘‘What is the purpose of this instruction?’’
    ‘‘How can learners demonstrate their understanding of the material?’’
    ‘‘How can you assess whether the learners have mastered the content?’’
    ‘‘If you have good test items, do you really need objectives?’’
    ‘‘Don’t instructors know what needs to be taught in a course?’’
    ‘‘What types of content and performance are specified in the objectives?’’
  • The functions of Objectives
    they offer a means for the instructional designer to design appropriate instruction, specifically to select and organize instructional activities and resources that facilitate effective learning. The result is a highly focused unit of instruction.
    provide a framework for devising ways to evaluate student learning.
  • Categories of Objectives
    Objectives are typically grouped into three major categories (or domains, as they are generally called):
  • Cognitive Domain
    The cognitive domain is considered one of the most important domains when designing instructional experiences.
    This domain includes objectives related to information or knowledge, naming, solving, predicting, and other intellectual aspects of learning.
    Bloom, Englehart, Furst, Hill, and Krathwohl (1956) developed a widely used taxonomy for the cognitive domain.
    (A taxonomy is a method of sequential classification on different levels.)
  • The taxonomy is organized within two major groups: (a) simple recall of information and (b) intellectual activities.
  • Psychomotor Domain
    the psychomotor domain, encompasses the skills requiring the use and coordination of skeletal muscles, as in the physical activities of performing, manipulating, and constructing.
  • Affective Domain
    the affective domain, involves objectives concerning attitudes, appreciations, values, and emotions such as enjoy- ing, conserving, and respecting.
    This area is typically believed to be very important in education and training, but it is the one area in which we have been able to do the least, particularly in writing useful instructional objectives.
    Krathwohl, Bloom, and Masia (1964) organized the affective domain into five levels.
  • Writing instructional objectives
    This is a design activity that requires changes and additions as the instruction is developed.
    Sometimes it is not until the instructional strategies are selected or evaluation methods stated that the ‘‘real’’ objectives for a topic are evident.
  • The Basis for Objectives
    Objectives are based on the results of the task analysis and provide a refinement and implementation of the needs of and/or goals for a project.
    If you use only a needs assessment to define your problem, the objectives will relate directly to those needs.
    If you use a goal analysis, the objectives will reflect a refinement of the goals.
  • Steps for writing objectives
    Instructional objectives identify information necessary to solve the performance problem.
    eriving the objectives is a four-step process to be completed after the task analysis.
    These steps are as follows:
    Review the task analysis and identify the essential knowledge, tasks(i.e., procedures), and attitudes the learner must master to solve the performance problem.
    Group the task analysis in clusters with the goals or needs you have identified.
    Write an objective for each of the goal statements or needs.
    Write objectives for any additional information that is essential and that is not addressed by an objective.
  • Approaches to Objectives
    A behavioral objective is a precise statement that answers the question.
    ‘‘What behavior can the learner demonstrate to indicate that he or she has mastered the knowledge or skills specified in the instruction?’’
    Ask yourself this question each time you start to formulate an objective;
    your answer will guide your efforts.
    To answer this question satisfactorily, you need to recognize that behavioral objectives consist of at least two essential parts and two optional parts.
  • Essential Parts.
    Start with an action verb that describes the learning required by the learner or trainee:
    To name
    To operate
    To arrange
    To compare
    Follow the action verb with the subject-content reference (e.g., the name of a piece of machinery or the focus of the action) that describes the content addressed by the objective:
    To name the parts of speech used in a sentence To operate a video recorder To arrange parts in order for assembly To compare points of view expressed on political issues.
  • An alternative approach for specifying behavioral objectives
    is the use of terminal and enabling objectives. A major objective for a topic or task is called a terminal objective.
    It describes, in behavioral terms, the overall learning outcomes expressed originally as the general purpose for a topic.
    More than a single terminal objective may be necessary for accomplishing a general purpose.
  • Here are examples of terminal instructional objectives in the Cognitive Domain:
    Topic: Fetal circulation General purpose:
    To acquire knowledge and understanding of the anatomy and physiology of fetal circulation
    Terminal objective: To describe the normal circulation pattern within a fetus
    Topic: Renaissance and Reformation General purpose:
    To understand the changes that took place in European civilization during the late Middle Ages
    Terminal objective: To interpret the significant developments taking place as Europeans broke the Continental bonds and established a world hegemony
    Topic: The automobile distributor General purpose:
    To clean and adjust the distributor for a smooth-running engine
    Terminal objective: To service a distributor
  • For the terminal objectives cited previously, the following enabling objectives are required:
    Terminal objective: To describe the normal circulation pattern within a fetus
    Enabling objectives:
    To name the two types of blood vessels found in the umbilical cord
    To locate the two shunts that are normal in fetal circulation
    To label a diagram of fetal circulation, indicating differences in systolic pressure between the left and right sides of the heart.
  • Writing Objectives in the Psychomotor Domain
    Psychomotor skills are the most easily observed of the three domains.
    Objectives in this domain rely on the same four objective parts; however, the emphasis is often different.
    For example, the verb demonstrate is frequently used to describe the behavior.
  • Writing Objectives in the Psychomotor Domain
    Explicitly stated conditions are often required for psychomotor objectives.
    For example, is the learner to use an electric drill or a manually powered drill? Are the ground balls thrown or hit by a batter?
    Similarly, psychomotor objectives are more likely to require specific criteria because 100% accuracy (e.g., all 10 shots in the bull’s-eye) often is not expected of a novice.
    The affective domain encompasses more abstract behaviors (e.g., attitudes, feelings, and appreciations) that are relatively difficult to observe and measure.
    One method of developing objectives in this domain is for the designer to specify behaviors indirectly by inferring from what he or she can observe.
    What a learner does or says is assumed as evidence of behavior relating to an affective objective.
    To measure an attitude about an activity, we must generalize from learner behaviors that indicate the student is developing or has developed the attitude.
    The following examples illustrate behaviors indicating a positive attitude:
    The learner says he or she likes the activity.
    The learner selects the activity in place of other possible activities.
    The learner participates in the activity with much enthusiasm.
    The learner shares his or her interest in the activity by discussing it with others or by encouraging others to participate
    The cognitive and affective domains comprise sequential hierarchies starting from low levels of learning or behavior and progressing through more intellectual or sophisticated levels.
    The psychomotor domain does not exhibit as consistent a sequencing pattern as do the other two domains.
    These three domains are useful for determining the level of learning for each objective and for checking that the objectives are distributed across several levels rather than clumped as rote memory objectives.
  • The next element of the design process is to use the objectives as a basis for developing the instructional strategies.
    This accomplished by classifying the objectives into a matrix that is then used to prescribe the instructional strategy.
  • Models Used for Classifying Objectives
    There are two different models for classifying objectives and then prescribing instructional strategies.
    The Mager and Beach (1967) model is particularly suited for classroom instruction,
    The performance-content matrix provides a structured instructional design approach
  • Mager and Beach Method for Classifying Objectives
  • Merrill’s performance-content matrix
    In his component display theory, Merrill (1983) proposed another useful tool for classifying objectives.
    The expanded model (see Table 5-8) builds on Merrill’s model to account for psychomotor, affective, and interpersonal tasks that are not included in Merrill’s component display theory.
  • Merrill’s performance-content matrix
    Unlike Bloom’s taxonomy, this model classifies types of content and performance as opposed to levels of learning.
    The content aspect of the matrix provides six categories for classifying objectives. Each objective is classified into one category. If the objective fits into two categories, it needs to be refined and stated as two separate objectives
  • Merrill’s Performance Content Matrix
  • Fact :
    A fact is a statement that associates one item with another.
    The statement ‘‘Columbus was an explorer’’ associates the words Columbus and explorer.
    Learning that the symbol H represents hydrogen in a chemical equation is also a fact that associates H with hydrogen. Facts are memorized for later recall.
  • Concept:
    Concepts are categories we use for simplifying the world.
    It is much easier to refer to two-wheeled, self-propelled vehicles as bicycles than to remember the brand name of every bike.
    Examples of concepts are circle, car, box, woman, mirror , and tree.
    We can identify several different models of automobiles, but we classify each as a car, just as we group maple, oak, and pine trees in the category of tree.
  • Principles and Rules
    Principles and rules express relationships between concepts.
    For example, ‘‘Metal expands when its temperature is increased’’ expresses a causal relationship between the concepts of metal and temperature.
    Similarly, ‘‘Providing reinforcement increases the chances the behavior will be repeated’’ expresses a relationship between learning (repeating a behavior) and reinforcement.
  • Procedure
    A procedure is a sequence of steps one follows to achieve a goal.
  • Procedure
    Procedures can describe primarily cognitive operations such as solving a quadratic equation, operations that involves both cognitive and psychomotor operations such as taking a voltmeter reading, and primarily psychomotor operations such as driving a nail.
    Procedures can also vary in difficulty from repetitive tasks (e.g., driving a nail) to problem-solving tasks (e.g., debugging a computer program).
  • Interpersonal Skills
    This category describes spoken and nonverbal (i.e., body language) interaction between two or more people.
    For example, an objective that describes the phone skills of a help-desk professional or the skills in making an effective presentation would be classified as interpersonal skills.
    Similarly, a course designed to improve the skills of managers interviewed on television by improving their posture and sitting habits to project confidence would be grouped in this category.
  • Attitude
    Objectives that seek to change or modify the learner’s attitude are classified in this category. Affective objectives can vary from simply developing an awareness of different options to changes in attitudes that result in action, such as stopping theft of company materials.
  • Recall or Application
    The second part of the model is the performance specified in the objective.
    The behavior or performance specified in the objective is considered and then classified as either recall or application.
  • Recall
    Objectives that specify that the learner simply memorize information for later recall (e.g., ‘‘Name an explorer,’’ ‘‘Define reinforcement’’) are classified as recall performance.
    Recall performance encompasses those behaviors at the lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.
    Verbs such as list, define, and name are often cues of recall performance.
  • Application
    When the performance requires the learner to use or apply the information, the objective is classified as application.
  • Application
    For example, an objective that requires the learner to demonstrate the use of reinforcement in a microteaching lesson would be classified as application.
    Verbs such as demonstrate, discriminate, and solve are cues that the performance requires an application of the content. Note that facts are always classified as recall because they cannot be applied.
  • In Class Activity
    The objectives are derived from the task analysis. Create a Task Analysis for your instruction.
    These tasks are supposed to represent the major tasks, knowledge, and attitudes defined by the analysis.
    Based on your task analysis, you are required to create a list of instructional objectives using Blooms Taxonomy
    Classify your written objectives in the expanded performance-content matrix
    Placing your objectives in the performance-content matrix is the output for this step of the instructional design process.
    These objectives are the starting point for the design of the instructional strategies.
  • Cognitive DomainLevels
  • Psychomotor Domain Levels
  • Affective Domain Levels