A learning objective is a sentence that states what a learner will accomplish at the end of a course or module; sometimes also referred to as learning outcomes, they are a premeditated course of action.
A learning objective is the first part of content that hits a learner’s eye. If the objective is not forceful and well written, it will fail to make an impact on the learner and the whole purpose of the course is lost. This is a nightmare that haunts every instructional designer; the only way to handle this frightening scenario is to embrace Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives.
Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives provides an excellent structure to plan your learning objectives. Learning objectives are the foundations on which your course is built. Blooms taxonomy emphasizes on the knowledge, attitude and skills of the learner along with six levels of critical thinking, which are as follows:
Knowledge: To recall facts and information such as when, where and how.
Comprehension: Not just to learn the facts but also to understand it.
Application: To study the fact in a simulation or a hypothetical situation.
Analysis: To break content into parts and understand the core of the matter at hand.
Synthesis: To present these facts in a new way
Evaluation: To create a validated point of view
Always remember these six keys while framing your objectives for a more precise usage of words to get to the point.
A learning objective is a statement that describes what the learner will gain after completing his or her learning experience.
- A learning objective is learner centric; it focuses on the learner rather than the instructor.
- Objectives are statements, not paragraphs.
- Phrased in single and not compound sentences.
- Ideal when the objective starts with a verb rather than any other part of speech.
Objectives are usually presented as a bullet list preceded by a typical statement such as “by the end of this course you will be able to …” An example of this would be By the end of this module, you will be able to describe the elements of a periodic table.
Verbs are the light and life of an objective; verbs used in objectives imply a level of thought and are always open to interpretation. Hence, it is best to avoid verbs such as know, learn, enjoy, realize and so on.
Benjamin Bloom has given a set of verbs for each of level of critical thinking
A few of them are as follows:
The table gives just a sample of a few of the verbs recommended by Benjamin Bloom for writing concise objectives that will enhance the outlook of your course.
These facts are essential in building the right objectives; write your objectives bearing these facts in mind and you are more likely to succeed in getting your point across quite effectively. If you do the opposite, you are sure to fail. The six levels of critical thinking along with their verb sets by Benjamin Bloom enable an instructional designer to arrive at a perfect objective for the perfect course.
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