A learning objective is a short and brief sentence, which gives the learner an idea of what he will be able to achieve after completing a course. They are the first part of the course or training and tell the learner what is in the course for him. It is the very first thing which will catch the learner’s eye. If it is not constructed in a way that influences the learner, the learner may lose his interest.
Every instructional designer needs to think in an overall direction to set a learning objective. So, how can you set a learning objective? How do you select the perfect verb, which will give the exact idea of what the course is all about? So, to handle this,the best way is to adapt the Bloom’s taxonomy strategy. Here in this blog, I will share a few points that will help you select right verbs for framing learning objectives.
Benjamin Bloom developed this taxonomy of educational learning objectives. In this taxonomy, he has acknowledged the three domains of a learning objective: Cognitive Domain, Affective Domain and Psychomotor Domain. Bloom’s taxonomyconsists of 6 levels, which lay emphasis on the knowledge, attitude and skills of learners.
The following are the 6 levels of critical thinking, which we need to keep in mind while designing a learning objective.
Knowledge: It represents the lowest level of knowledge, to recall facts and information such as when, where and how.
Comprehension: Imparts knowledge which needs to be assimilated in order to interpret / make a decision, in other words not just knowledge but also to understand it.
Application: Used to teach skills for application in various circumstances, in order to study the fact in a simulation or a hypothetical situation.
Analysis: Used to teach analysis of a situation to arrive at a decision/compare/differentiate which helps to break content into parts and understand the “core” of the matter.
Synthesis: Used to teach how to create new entities from known information/objects/facts. It is used to present these facts in a new way.
Evaluation: Used to teach learners how to make judgments and create a validated point of view.
Being instructional designers, we need to remember these 6 levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, which makes it easy to frame perfect and effective learning objectives. Once you are able to understand what exactly the learner is supposed to learn from the course, you will be able to choose the verbs and construct the learning objectives.
Here is a table of verbs, which you can use for the above 6 critical thinking levels:
The table here consists of a few prominent examples of verbs that can be used for designing a learning objective. Hope you find this blog useful. Please do share your views.