Educational objectives are the statements of those desired changes in behavior as a result of specific teaching – learning activity or specific teacher - learner activities. Behavior :- what the student should know or be able to do after the teaching-learning activity, i.e., the knowledge, ability, skill, attitude, appreciation and interest which the student develops as a result of the teaching-learning activity. Educational objectives depict what the student should be able to do at the end of a learning activity that they could not do beforehand. As educational objective is focused much more on the learners‟ performance, it is also known as „learning objective‟.
These objectives are generally followed by all institutions offering the same educational programme. It is usually formulated in consensus with the general curriculum objectives of the educational programme by the curriculum committee of the institute. Well constructed institutional objectives are the foundation for a relevant educational programme. They are written down for the attainment of overall aim or objective of a particular educational programme. Students acquire knowledge and able to provide comprehensive care to the clients in institution and community; in health and sickness.
These are the derivatives of institutional objectives and related to a particular learning experience or subject matter. They are formulated by the curriculum committee. For example : students acquire knowledge and able to provide comprehensive care to the patients with eye, ear and nose conditions or diseases.
Specific, precise, attainable, measurable and corresponding to each specific teaching-learning activity. They are formulated by the teacher at the instructional level. Instructional or specific objectives for a class on peptic ulcer can be formulated as follows. Student : Defines peptic ulcer, lists down the etiology of peptic ulcer, explains the medical management of peptic ulcer, list down the nursing diagnoses of a patient with peptic ulcer. Performs nursing care of a patient with peptic ulcer and lists down the complications of peptic ulcer.
Central objective is written for every topic or lesson . This is of supreme importance in any teaching activity. Central objective provides the basis for formulating the subsequent contributory objectives. If the teacher wishes to teach the students about the lecture method, she can formulate the central objective as follows; “by the end of the class, students acquire knowledge regarding lecturing techniques, discriminate the merits and demerits of lecture and able to practice it in an effective way by minimizing the demerits”. .
Contributory objectives are synonymous with specific objectives. They are the derivatives of central objective. The attainment of central objective is possible only through the attainment of contributory objectives. They have to be written more specifically in terms of the knowledge, abilities, skills, attitude, appreciation and interest which will develop in the student as a result of the specific teaching-learning activity. For example, student :Defines lecture method, lists down the merits of lecture method and lists down the demerits of lecture method are some of the contributory objectives that will assist the teacher in attaining the central objective while taking a class on lecture method
Indirect or concomittent objectives are the byproducts of the attainment of other objectives. They have to be written-down in order to bring out certain understandings, ideals and attitudes along with the attainment of contributory objectives and central objective. For example: appreciate the value of lecture method. Attainment of this indirect objective along with other objectives like central objective and contributory objectives will motivate the students to honor the value of lecture method in the future by practicing it with adequate preparation and employing suitable techniques.
Bloom and his associates developed a system of classification of objectives called the taxonomy of educational objectives. Taxonomy of educational objectives classifies objectives into three main domains and each of these is further categorized according to the level of behavior, progressing from the most simple to the highly complex. The levels are arranged in the form of a hierarchy so that the behaviors at any given level will incorporate those of the levels below.
The three domains are cognitive, which is concerned with knowledge and intellectual abilities, which is concerned with attitudes, values, interests and appreciations and psychomotor domain is concerned with motor skills. Bloom presented the taxonomy of cognitive domain, Karath is related to affective domain and Harrow developed the taxonomy for psychomotor domain
The cognitive domain consists of six levels of objectives, each of which is divided into subcategories. Let us see the six levels in brief.
Knowledge :- recall of specifics and universals, recall of methods and processes or the recall of a pattern, structure or setting. Specifics stands for definite things like terminologies and specific facts. Universal means all-reaching or all- embracing , for example, theories and generalizations are applicable to all situations. This level is related to the remembering of previously learned material and represents the lowest level of learning outcomes in the cognitive domain. Knowledge of specifics include knowledge of terminology and knowledge of specific facts.
Knowledge of specifics include (a) Knowledge of conventions. (b) Knowledge of trends and sequence. (c) Knowledge of classifications and categories. (d) Knowledge of criteria. (e) knowledge of methodology.
Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field include :-(a) Knowledge of principles and generalizations.(b) Knowledge of theories and structures. Action verbs related to this level of objective are define, state, list, name, outline, write, recall, recogniz e, label, underline, select, measure, describe, identify , etc. Please note that some verbs associated with one level may be used to indicate other levels also. Examples : (a) Defines immunity. (b) states the four steps in curriculum development. (c) Describes the healing process.
Even though this level represents the lowest level of understanding. learning outcomes go one step beyond simple understanding as evidenced by the learners ability to make limited use of information in the form of translation, interpretation and extrapolation. Using other words to communicate something said or printed without altering the meaning is called translation. Interpretation is the ability of the students to explain the meaning or significance of an information in the own words.
Extrapolation is the ability to work out or estimate unknown information from the known information. Typical verbs used at this level are identify ,justify ,select, indicate, illustrate, represent, name, formulate, explain, judge, contrast, classify, paraphrase, translate, convert etc. Examples : (a) Classifies cirrhosis of liver based on the etiology. (b) Identifies the importance of good nutrition during the antenatal period. (c) Explains the role of pulse polio in eradicating poliomyelitis.
This is the ability to use learned material such as rules, principles, concepts, etc to new and real situations. The learning outcomes in this area require a higher level of understanding than those under comprehension. Verbs used at this level are predict, select, assess, explain, choose, find, show, demon strate, construct, compute, use, perform, discover, prepar e, produce, relate, etc. Examples : (a) Demonstrates correct use of pulse oxymeter. (b) Applies the guidelines for the selection and practice of suitable teaching methods. (c) Formulates diet plan for patients with diabetes mellitus.
This refers to the ability to breakdown information into its component parts, which may be elements of information, relationships between elements or organization and structure of information. Analysis helps to separate the important aspects of information from the less important, thus clarifying the meaning . Learning outcomes here represent a higher intellectual level than comprehension and application because they require an understanding of both the content and structural form of information.
Action verbs at this level are analyze, identify, conclude, differentiate, select, separate, compare, contrast, justify, resolve, breakdown ,criticize, differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes, etc. Examples: (a) Distinguishes between Marasmus and kwashiorker. (b) Identifies the warning signs of myocardial infarction. (c) Differentiates the pain of myocardial infarction from that of angina pectoris.
At this level learner is expected to combine various parts to form a new whole. Learning outcomes in this area stress creative behaviors with major emphasis on the formulation of new patterns or structures. Verbs that represent this level are combine, restate, summarize, precise, argue, discuss, organize, derive, select, relate, generalize conclude, compile, compose, create, devise, plan, e tc. Examples : (a) Devices a care plan for a patient with myocardial infarction. (b) Derives a solution for the hospital waste problem. (c) Summarizes the impact of consumer protection act on the nurse-patient relationship.
This level is concerned with the ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose. Judgments are to be based on definite criteria. Typical verbs are judge, evaluate, determine, recognize, support, defend, criticize, identify, avoid, select, choose, compare, contrast, justify, appraise, etc. For example : Compare and contrast any two definitions of education.
The affective domain consists of five levels of objectives, each of which is divided into subcategories. Francis M. Quinn describes the affective domain and its five levels in the following way. As feelings, attitudes, values and interests are components of the caring functions, this domain has particular significance in nursing.
„Values‟ refer to the person‟s concept of what he or she considers desirable and so has a large emotional component. A persons values may include sincerity, compassion, respect, etc. „Attitudes‟ are positive or negative feeling about certain things and consists of both cognitive and affective aspects
At this level learner is sensitive to the existence of something and progresses from awareness to controlled or selected attention. It is difficult to tell when a learner is receiving or attending to something, so the best indicator is verbal behavior. Typical verbs used at this level are asks, chooses, selects, replies, etc. For example, asks right questions by honoring the dignity of the patient during history collection.
This is concerned with active response by the learner, although commitment is yet to demonstrate. The range is from reacting to a suggestion through to experiencing a feeling of satisfaction in responding. Verbs represent this level include answers, assists, complies, conforms, helps, etc. For example, assists the patient in carrying out activities of daily living.
Objectives at this level indicate acceptance and internalization of the values or attitudes. The learner acts out these in everyday life in a consistent way. The verbs used in this level are initiates, invites, joins, justifies, etc. For example, initiates the building of interpersonal relationship with the patients during clinical postings.
Having internalized the value, the learner will encounter situations in which more than one value is relevant. This level is concerned with the ability to organize values and to arrange them in appropriate order. Verbs represent this level are alters, arranges, combines, modifies, etc. For example, combines various interaction Skills to nurture interpersonal relationship with patients.
This is the highest level and having attained this level the learner has an internalized va1ue system which has become their philosophy of life. Verbs applicable to this level are acts, displays, discriminates, listens, etc. For example, displays confidence while caring patients with myocardial infarction. Affective domain not only guides in the inculcation of new attitudes but also assists in modifying the student‟s existing attitudes in a way favorable to the nursing profession. Some more action verbs like respond, co- operate, react, receive, participate, appreciate, contribut e and interact are also used to represent this domain.
Psychomotor domain consists of sevenlevels. According toFrancis.M.Qujnn, these seven level canbe explained as follows.
This basic level is concerned with the perception of sensory cues the guide actions and ranges from awareness of stimuli to translation into action. Action verbs are chooses, differentiates, distinguishes, ide ntifies, detects, etc. For example, detects the early signs of decubitus ulcer.
This is concerned with the cognitive, affective and psychomotor readiness to act. Typical verbs are begins, moves, reacts, shows, starts etc. For example, reacts promptly to emergency situations during trauma care postings.
These objectives refer to the early stages in skill acquisition ski1ls are performed following demonstration by the teacher. Typical verbs are carries out, makes, performs, calculates, etc. For example, performs bed making correctly as demonstrated by the teacher.
At this level, the performance has become habitual, but the movements are not so complex as the next higher level. Verbs used are similar to level 3 for example, calculates the volume of fluid required in the first day for a patient admitted with 60% percentage burns and weighing 50 kilograms.
This level typifies the skilled performance and involves economy of effort, smoothness of action, accuracy and efficiency, etc. Again verbs are similar to level 3. For example, performs endotrachial intubation correctly.
Here, the skills are internalized to such an extent that the students can adapt them to cater for special circumstances. Typical verbs are adapts, alters, modifies, reorganizes, etc. For example, modifies sterilization techniques according to the article to be sterilized.
This is the highest level and concerns the origination of new movement patterns to suit particular circumstances. Typical verbs are composes, creates, designs, originates, etc. For example, designs a splint to restrain the forearm of a child who is on IV infusion. Insert, remove, dissect, Palpate, inject, operate, auscultate, prepare, etc are some of the verbs commonly used in the clinical area to denote psychomotor domain.
From the above discussion, it is clear that nursing students have to develop cognitive, affective and psychomotor abilities in order to pursue a good career. Teacher has to keep this in mind and extreme care should be taken to incorporate cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains while framing central objective. Irrespective of the criticisms leveled against Bloom‟s taxonomy, it still continues to help nurse educators in bringing about desirable behaviour modifications among nursing students.
Moreover, it is easy to derive specific or instructional objectives from such worded central objectives. For example, the central objective to teach nursing management of patients with myocardial infarction can be stated as follows, “by the end of the class, students acquire in-depth knowledge regarding the nursing management of myocardial infarction, appreciate the role of nursing care in the management of myocardial infarction and able to perform nursing care meticulously as demanded by the patient‟s condition”.
In this objective, acquire in-depth knowledge stands for cognitive domain, appreciate the role of nursing care represents affective domain and able to perform nursing care meticulously as demanded by the patient‟s condition denotes psychomotor domain. As demanded by the patients‟ condition signify the students‟ ability to render nursing care for a patient with myocardial infarction in the critical as well as in the stable condition.
An educational objective should be relevant, feasible and achievable, measurable, unequivocal, observable and logical. If an educational objective fails to meet any one of these qualities, it is regarded as invaluable or poor objective
1. Relevant: Educational objectives should have a direct relationship with the aims of learning, in other words educational objectives should be based on the needs of the learner.2. Feasible and achievable: Students should be able to do what is envisaged by the objective, within the allotted time and available resources.
3. Measurable: In addition to communicating the expected behavior modification. there should be a provision in the objective to evaluate the end result, i.e., the extent of behavior modification occurred as a result of the teaching learning activity
4) Observable: The qualities of measurable and observable are closely related.• In the statement of objectives there should be some means to observe the progress towards the achievement of desired behavioral modifications as stipulated by the objective.5) Unequivocal: Equivocal words. Bear more than one or two meanings.• Equivocal words should be avoided while framing objectives in order to provide a uniform direction in achieving learning aims by avoiding ambiguity.
The words like to know, to understand, etc are equivocal, whereas the words like to write, to solve, etc are unequivocal. As unequivocal words are very clear there is only less chance for misinterpretation.6 Logical : The objectives which are written- down must be agreeable or reasonable in relation to the teaching-learning activities, i.e., objectives should be internally consistent with the educational activities.
Objectives can be stated in four different ways namely teacher centered objective. subject centered objective. learner centered objective. behaviour centered objective.
These objectives are written-down in relation to the teacher‟s activity which enables to bring about desirable changes in the behavior of students. For example, teacher lists down the predisposing factors of myocardial infarction and students recognize them.
Subject centered objectives are the objectives which are written down by giving significance to the subject matter with an intention to produce some behavioral modifications among students. For example, identifies the symptomatology of myocardial infarction.
Learner centered objectives can be stated either in terms of activity performed by students or outcomes attained by the learner as a result of the teaching-learning activity. For example, student prepares care plan.
Objective stated in terms of behavior modification expected is called behavioral objective or behavior centered objective. As education is concerned with the modification of behavior, behavior centered way of stating objective is considered as the best way to state objectives. Forthcoming discussion will give you the required information pertaining to behavioral objectives in a condensed form.
When written in behavioral terms an objective will include three components namely condition of performance, student behavior and performance criteria or standard. Condition of performance indicates the conditions or contexts under which the student will perform the behavior. A statement objective will always begin with a condition of performance For example, after attending the demonstration on intramuscular injection, students will be able to perform intramuscular injection correctly. Here, „after attending the demonstration on intramuscular injection‟ denotes the condition of performance.
Student behavior :describes the behavior that the teacher want the student to perform, i.e., the knowledge to be gained and the action or skill the student is able to do. In the above mentioned example, „student will be able to perform intramuscular injection‟ stands for student behavior.
It specifies the level of performance that the teacher will accept as successful attainment of the objective or describes how well the behavior is to be done in comparison with predetermined standard or criteria. In the previously mentioned example, the word „correctly‟ represents the standard or criteria.
(a) Provides an opportunity for the teacher to examine the content which she is going to teach and motivates her to present the content in a student friendly manner.(b) (b) Helps the teacher to determine whether or not he had actually taught what is intended to teach.(c) (c) The use of behaviorally stated objectives motivates the teacher to consistently evaluate a student‟s performance, this will ultimately helps her to individualize instruction in a better way.
(d) Justifies the selection of content, learning experiences and teaching-learning methods.(e) Behavioral objectives can be written for cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. This will allow nurse educators to frame objectives in a realistic way suitable to the aims of nursing education.
Morrison and Riciley clearly described the strengths and weaknesses of behavioral objectives. The strengths of behavioral objectives are (a)They are performance based, measurable and observable.( b) They are easily communicated to teachers and students. (c) They facilitate organization by specifying goals and outcomes.
(d) They clarify thinking and planning and resolve ambiguities. (e) They are „teacher-proof‟ and clear to anxious teachers. (f) They are highly prescriptive. (g) They make clear assessment and evaluation criteria. (h) They specify behaviors.
(a) They are highly instrumental, regarding education as instrumentally rather than intrinsically worthwhile. (b) They render students and teachers passive recipients of curricula rather than participants in a process of negotiation. (c) They only cover the trivial, concrete and observable aspects of education, thereby neglecting long-term, unobservable, immeasurable deeper- seated aims and elements. (d) Education becomes technicist, tending towards low level training rather than higher level thinking
. (e) Because they are „teacher-proof‟ they build out teachers‟ autonomy. (f) They lead to predictability rather than open - endedness, discovery, serendipity, creati vity and spontaneity. (g The process of education is overtaken by outcome dependence.
(h) They replace the significance of understanding with an emphasis on behavior.(i) Epistemologically they mistake the nature of knowledge, seeing it as products and facts, supporting a rationalist rather than an empirical view of knowledge.(j) They mistakenly „parcel up‟ and atomise knowledge
Educational objectives are those desired changes in behavior as a result of specific teaching-learning activity or specific teacher-learner activities. Behavior is what the student should know or able to do after the teaching-learning activity. Educational objectives can be classified in different ways like general or institutional objective, intermediate or departmental objective, instructional or specific objective, central objective, contributory objective and indirect or concomitant objective. Bloom‟s taxonomy of educational objectives classifies objectives into cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains with subdivisions.