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
‘‘How can you assess whether the learners have mastered
‘‘If you have good test items, do you really need objectives?’’
‘‘Don’t instructors know what needs to be taught in a
‘‘What types of content and performance are specified in
The functions of Objectives
Objectives offer a means for the Teacher (who is the
instructional designer) to design appropriate
Objectives guides the teacher when selecting and
organizing instructional activities and resources.
Objectives allow teachers to prepare focused units of
Objectives provides a framework for devising ways to
evaluate student learning.
The Role of Objectives in Teaching
Provide for evaluation of instruction
Convey instructional intent to others
Provide targets for formative and summative assessments
Provide guidelines for learning
Provide a focus for instruction
Categories of Objectives
Objectives are typically grouped into three major
categories (or domains, as they are generally called):
The cognitive domain is considered
one of the most important domains
when designing instructional
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
(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
the skills requiring the
use and coordination of
skeletal muscles, as in
the physical activities of
the affective domain, involves objectives
concerning attitudes, appreciations,
values, and emotions such as enjoying,
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
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
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.
Deriving 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.
Write an objective for each of ranked step.
Write objectives for any additional information that is
essential and that is not addressed by an objective.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A
Reflects what learners must do in an educational setting to
achieve a specific related competency.
Begin with an action verb.
May come from simplest levels of instruction
Are observable and measurable
Are clear, concise and precise descriptions of skills,
knowledge or attitudes
Specify single performance/outcomes, not combination
Describe the learner’s performance, not the instructor’s
activities, learning activities, instructional strategies etc.
Smaldino, Lowther & Russell (2008) describe ABCDs of
ABCD stands for:
Audience: Identify and describe learners
Behaviour: Describe what is expected of the learner after
receiving the instruction
Conditions: Describe the setting and circumstances in which
the learners’ performance will occur
Degree: Explain the standard for acceptable performance
Example: Given a standard sentence, the student should
be able to identify the noun and verb without error.
Writing objectives in the Cognitive
There are two generally recognized approaches to
Behavioural and Cognitive
The Behavioural orientation is applied to writing
objectives in all the domains
The Cognitive approach is best suited for the cognitive
WRITING OBJECTIVES IN THE COGNITIVE DOMAIN-
Behavioral Objectives (Mager, 1984)
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;
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 of a Behavioural
Start with an verb that describes the learning required by the learner or
trainee: for example
Next Follow the action verb with the subject-content reference 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 an isosceles triangle and a right angled triangle.
Optional Parts of an objective
Levels of Achievement: State the performance standard or
criterion or the minimum acceptable performance
Example: In proper order; At least 8 out of 10 correct
Conditions of Performance: State the conditions of
performance under which evaluation takes place.
This part of the objective answers questions such as “is
specific equipment required?” “is access to a certain book,
chart or reference allowed”
Example: Given two types kitchen knives, identify the
knife to be used for cutting bread.
The Morrison, Ross and Kemp
(MRK) alternative approach to
terminal and enabling objectives.
A major objective for a topic or task is called a terminal
It describes, in behavioral terms, the overall learning
outcomes expressed originally as the general purpose for a
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:
Infants I Social Studies Unit 5:Theme: What affects me?:
Topic: Developing a healthy lifestyle.
Terminal Objective: Identify healthy foods
Infants II Social Studies Unit 1: Theme: My Family
Topic: Extending the concept of family
Terminal Objective: Develop the students’ existing knowledge
and understanding of the family.
Topic: The automobile distributor General purpose:
To clean and adjust the distributor for a smooth-running engine
Terminal objective: Service an automobile distributor
Std. 3 Language Arts: Recreational Reading/ Literature
Terminal Objective: Recognize the form of poetry in a
For the terminal objectives cited previously, the following
enabling objectives are created:
Terminal objective: Recognize the form of poetry
1. Define the term poem (Knowledge)
2. Identify different types of poems.(Comprehension)
3. Outline the attributes of poems. (Comprehension)
4. Compose poems (Application/Synthesis)
5. Compare different types of poems (Analysis)
6. Contrast different types of poems (Analysis)
7. Critique a poem (Evaluation)
Writing Cognitive Objectives
Gronlund (1985, 1995, 2004) suggested an alternative
approach to Mager’s for writing instructional
objectives in the cognitive domain.
Both behavioral objectives and cognitive objectives
specify learning as outcomes.
Cognitive objectives, however, are stated in two parts.
Writing Cognitive Objectives
First is a statement of the general
General objectives are stated in broad terms to
encompass a domain of learning (e.g., comprehend,
understand, apply, use, interpret, evaluate), for example:
Select information using ERIC
Understands the meaning of the terms used in the gas laws
Interprets a graph
Comprehends the meaning of a poem
These general statements indicate the overall outcome of
Writing Cognitive Objectives
Like a behavioral objective, they focus on the products
or outcomes of the instruction, not the process.
Statements that include words such as gains, views, or
acquires are indicators that the designer is focusing on
the learning process instead of the outcomes.
As a result, an objective written as ‘‘The learner will
gain . . .’’ is focusing on the process and should be
rewritten as ‘‘The learner interprets . . .’’ to focus on the
Writing Cognitive Objectives
The second part of a cognitive objective is one or more samples of
the speciﬁc types of performance that indicate mastery of the objective.
Following are examples:
Selects information using ERIC
1. Finds an article on a given topic
2. Compiles a bibliography of related literature
3. Identiﬁes narrower and broader terms for a search
Interprets a graph
1. Determines the group that sold the most
2. Determines the groups that were below average
3. Determines the year with the greatest number of sales
Conducts effective meetings
1. Prepares an agenda prior to the meeting
2. Arranges the room for effective communication
3. States the intended outcomes at the beginning of the meeting
Why use cognitive objectives
instead of behavioral objectives?
When cognitive objectives is compared to Mager-style behavioral
objectives, they both specify a student performance in speciﬁc,
However, behavioral objectives become the end rather than the
means for instruction.
Cognitive-style objectives overcome this problem by ﬁrst stating a
general objective (similar in structure to the terminal objective) to
communicate the intent (e.g., ‘‘To interpret the graph’’).
A behavioral objective might oversimplify the intent by stating the
outcome as ‘‘Identify the tallest bar on the chart.’’ The resulting
instruction from the behavioral objective, then, focuses on measuring
the elements of the graph rather than interpreting it.
The sample performances of the cognitive objective simply indicate
behaviors that help the teacher or instructor to determine when the
learner has achieved the higher-level intent
When to use Behavioural
Behavioural objectives are particularly well suited for
mastery learning instruction for which the learner must
demonstrate speciﬁc behaviors to advance to the next level.
For example, a course that stresses how to produce a
speciﬁc report, such as sales by departments for a given
month, might best be deﬁned with behavioral objectives.
These objectives will accurately describe the outcome, in
this case, ‘‘The learner will print a report indicating sales
revenue by department,’’ which involves the repetitive task
of entering the month and department name.
When to use Cognitive Objectives?
Cognitive objectives are well suited for describing higher levels of
For example, in a course that emphasizes labor negotiation skills,
the designer might develop a cognitive objective to
describe the outcome related to evaluating a contract offer:
‘‘The learner will comprehend the implications of an offer.’’
The examples of behaviors related to this outcome could focus
on speciﬁcs such as ‘‘calculating the cost of the contract to the
company,’’ ‘‘identifying possible counteroffers,’’ and ‘‘determining
Cognitive objectives can be written for all
three domains of learning.
Writing Objectives in the
Psychomotor skills are the most easily observed of the
Objectives in this domain rely on the same four
objective parts; however, the emphasis is often
For example, the verb demonstrate is frequently used
to describe the behavior.
Writing Objectives in the
Explicitly stated conditions are often required for
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
WRITING OBJECTIVES FOR THE
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.
WRITING OBJECTIVES FOR THE
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
The learner says he or she likes the activity.
The learner selects the activity in place of other possible
The learner participates in the activity with much
The learner shares his or her interest in the activity by
discussing it with others or by encouraging others to
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
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
This accomplished by classifying the objectives into a
matrix that is then used to prescribe the instructional
Models Used for Classifying
There are two different models for classifying
objectives and then prescribing instructional
1. The Mager and Beach (1967) model is particularly
suited for classroom instruction,
2. The performance-content matrix provides a
structured instructional design approach
Mager and Beach Method for
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.
Unlike Bloom’s taxonomy, this model classifies types
of content and performance as opposed to levels of
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
Fact : A fact is a statement that associates one
item with another.
The statement ‘‘Columbus was an
explorer’’ associates the words Columbus
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
For example, ‘‘Metal expands when its
temperature is increased’’ expresses a causal
relationship between the concepts of metal
Similarly, ‘‘Providing reinforcement
increases the chances the behavior will be
repeated’’ expresses a relationship between
learning (repeating a behavior) and
A procedure is a sequence of steps one follows to
achieve a goal.
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), e.g. preparing a
balance sheet, e.g. how to straighten hair, e.g. how to
boil a potato, e.g. how to log onto facebook.
This category describes spoken and nonverbal (i.e.,
body language) interaction between two or more
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
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.
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
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
Objectives that specify that the learner
simply memorize information for later
recall (e.g., ‘‘Name an explorer,’’ ‘‘Define
reinforcement’’) are classified as recall
Recall performance encompasses those
behaviors at the lower levels of Bloom’s
Verbs such as list, define, and name are
often cues of recall performance.
When the performance requires the
learner to use or apply the information,
the objective is classified as
For example, an objective that requires
the learner to demonstrate the use of
reinforcement in a microteaching
lesson would be classified as
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
Placing your objectives in the performance-content
matrix is the output for this step of the instructional
These objectives are the starting point for the design
of the instructional strategies.
Psychomotor Domain Levels
Action Verbs Describing Learning
High level of proficiency is necessary. The behavior
is performed with the least expenditure of energy,
becomes routine, automatic, and spontaneous.
Effortlessly With ease
Naturally With perfection
Professionally With poise
Articulation Requires the display of coordination of a series of
related acts by establishing the appropriate sequence
and performing the acts accurately, with control as
well as with speed and timing.
Precision Requires performance of some action independent of
either written instructions or a visual model. One is
expected to reproduce an action with control and to
reduce errors to a minimum.
Errorlessly With balance
Independently With control
Manipulation Performance of an action with written or verbal
directions but without a visual model or direct
observation. The action may be performed crudely
or without neuromuscular coordination at this stage.
Notice that the action verbs are the same as those for
the imitation stage. The difference is that these
actions are performed with the aid of written and
verbal instruction, not visual demonstration.
Follow Rest (on)
Grasp Step (here)
Imitation The learner observes and then imitates an action.
These behaviors may be crude and imperfect. The
expectation that the individual is able to watch and
then repeat an action.
Follow Rest (on)
Grasp Step (here)
Affective Domain LevelsReception Response Value Organization Characterization by Value or