Quick Tips for Writing Instructional Objectives: Although being well versed in your subject area is important, being able to communicate necessary skills and concepts in a way students can understand is crucial. Most people would agree that the goal of education is learning. Most would also agree that education is likely to be more effective if educators are clear about what it is that they want the learners to learn.
In today’s article, we will discuss Tips for Writing Instructional Objectives. Scroll down to know more about the said topic. Let us help the candidates by explaining them some crucial Tips for Writing Objectives. Let us initiate with the definition of Instructional Objectives.
What are Instructional Objectives?
An instructional objective is a statement that will describe what the learner will be able to do after completing the instruction. Instructional objectives (also known as behavioral objectives or learning objectives) are basically statements which clearly describe an anticipated learning outcome.
- Instructional objectives are specific, measurable, short-term, observable student behaviors.
- An objective is a description of a performance you want learners to be able to exhibit before you consider them competent.
- An objective describes an intended result of instruction, rather than the process of instruction itself.
The main purpose of instructional objectives is
i. To provide direction for the instructional process by clearly stating the intended learning outcomes.
ii. To convey instructional intent to pupils, parents and educational organisations.
iii. To provide a basis for evaluating pupil learning by describing the performance to be measured.
What is an objective?
A behavioral (performance) objective is “an intent communicated by a statement describing a proposed change in a learner – a statement of what the learner is to be like when he/she has successfully completed a learning experience” (Mager, 1975). Or, a behavioral (performance) objective is a statement of an observable behavior that the learner is to exhibit at the close of a program, course, or learning session. Stated in another way, a behavioral (performance) objective is a description of a proposed behavioral change the teacher wants to bring about in a learner—change in either the cognitive, psychomotor, or affective domain of learning. The objectives for the lesson are typically shared with the learners so they know what is expected of them.
A performance objective is a three-part statement of what, in measurable terms, the learner must do to master a behavior (performance). A true performance objective has three identifiable parts: (1) a description of the behavior (performance); (2) the conditions under which the behavior (performance) will be measured; and (3) the criterion which states how well the behavior must be performed to be considered mastered.
Types of objectives
Cognitive objectives are designed to increase an individual’s knowledge. Cognitive objectives relate to understandings, awareness, insights (e.g., “Given a description of a planet, the student will be able to identify that planet, as demonstrated verbally or in writing.” or “The student will be able to evaluate the different theories of the origin of the solar system as demonstrated by his/her ability to compare and discuss verbally or in writing the strengths and weaknesses of each theory.”). This includes knowledge or information recall, comprehension or conceptual understanding, the ability to apply knowledge, the ability to analyze a situation, the ability to synthesize information from a given situation, the ability to evaluate a given situation, and the ability to create something new.
Psychomotor objectives are designed to build a physical skill (e.g., “The student will be able to ride a two-wheel bicycle without assistance and without pause as demonstrated in gym class.”); actions that demonstrate the fine motor skills such as use of precision instruments or tools, or actions that evidence gross motor skills such as the use of the body in dance or athletic performance.
Affective objectives are designed to change an individual’s attitude. Affective objectives refer to attitudes, appreciations, and relationships (e.g., “Given the opportunity to work in a team with several people of different races, the student will demonstrate an positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race, as measured by a checklist utilized/completed by non-team members.”)
Quick Tips for Writing Instructional Objectives
How specific and detailed should objectives be?
It depends on what they are used for! Objectives for sequencing a unit plan will be more general than for specifying a lesson plan.
- Don’t make writing objectives tedious, trivial, time-consuming, or mechanical. Keep them simple, unambiguous, and clearly focused as a guide to learning.
- The purpose of objectives is not to restrict spontaneity or constrain the vision of education in the discipline, but to ensure that learning is focused clearly enough that both students and teacher know what is going on.
- Express them in terms of student performance, behavior, and achievement, not teacher activity.
Three components of an instructional objective:
- Identify the type of activity in which competence is required (e.g., “Dissect…”).
- Specify the criteria or standards by which competence in the activity will be assessed (e.g., “a frog so that
the following organs are clearly displayed…”).
- List any conditions or circumstances required for students to meet the objective (e.g., “…given two class periods working with the materials at your lab station”).
In writing objectives, answer the question: “What should the participants be able to do?”
- Objectives must be clear and attainable.
- Focus on knowledge/skill acquisition or reinforcement.
- A recommended wording format is: “At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to…” This phrase is followed by a specific performance verb and the desired learning outcome.
ABCDs of Writing Instructional Objectives
A-Audience: The who. “The student will be able to…”
B-Behavior: What a learner is expected to be able to do or the product or result of the doing. The behavior or product should be observable.
C-Condition: The important conditions under which the performance is to occur.
D-Degree: The criterion of acceptable performance. How well the learner must perform in order for the performance to be considered acceptable