Why do you care? | How do I write an instructional objective? | How are instructional objectives classified?

What are instructional objectives?
Instructional objectives may also be called performance objectives, behavioral objectives or objectives. All of these terms are used interchangeably. Objectives are specific, outcome based, measurable and describe the student's behavior. So what does that mean? Let's take a closer look.
Specific Objectives are very specific. This means that they should describe precisely what the learner is expected to do.
Outcome based Objectives are outcome based. This means that the objective is going to state what the learner should be able to do after the instruction is complete. The process of how the instruction happens is not considered in an objective.
Measurable Objectives are measurable. This means that objectives should describe learning outcomes that can be measured; objectives should be seen or heard.
Describe student behavior Objectives describe student behaviors. This means that objectives should relate what the student should be able to do after the instruction.

Why do you care?
Instructional objectives are key to effective instruction. Keep in mind that effective instruction occurs only when student behavior is changed in desired ways. Because instructional objectives are tools for describing student outcomes, they provide a means to making the instruction effective. Let's look at what instructional objectives really do.
Serve as a guide for students Objectives alert students to what is expected of them. They eliminate the "guess work". Expectations are very clearly defined.
Serve as a basis for the selection of instructional media and materials AND instructional procedures Objectives allow the instructor to determine the media and materials that will facilitate the learning. The procedures to be used to teach the new information become clearer once the objective is defined.
Determine the appropriate ways to evaluate Evaluation should always be based on each instructional objective. Determining the objective classification will assist you in determining the appropriate methods for evaluation.

How do I write an instructional objective?
You should first determine the learning outcomes of the lesson. In other words, what do you want the student to be able to do when the lesson is over. Following the ABCDs of instructional objectives is a great way to make sure you have included all the necessary parts in an objective. Link to the A, B, C, and Ds of instructional objectives followed by interactive practice writing instructional objectives.

Why should instructional objectives be classified?
Teachers should classify objectives because the type of objective dictates the selection of instructional methods, media and evaluation used in the lesson. Objectives may be classified according to the primary learning outcomes that take place. These learning outcomes typically are classified into three domains or categories: cognitive, psychomotor and affective. Learn more about these domains.
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Last updated on 4/01/03
Copyright 2002 by B. O'Bannon.