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Writing Goals and
Objectives
An Integral Part of an Online Course
At the end of this presentation you will:
 Identify
the essential characteristics of
measurable course learning objectives.
 Compare and contrast educational goals vs.
educational objectives
 Write clear, measurable educational objective
using the ABCD model
 Gain knowledge to develop educational
objectives that focus on the learner as the
intended audience
Objectives for this Presentation
Benjamin Bloom and his
colleagues published a
taxonomy of learner
behaviors which was taken
into the public schools and
eventually adopted in the
health profession schools.
It has influenced curriculum
development and driven the
movement towards
competency based
instruction for health
professionals.
Bloom. B. and Krathwolh,D. (1956)
Taxonomy of Educational Objectives:The Classification
of Educational Goals , New
York, Longmans
1956
Educational Objectives
are also called:
Learning Objectives
 Outcomes
 Terminal Objectives
 Performance
Objectives
 Competencies
 Instructional
Objectives
 Behavioral Objectives

The use of the terms
“goals” and “objectives”
can be confusing!
Let’s clarify the differences.
GOALS
OBJECTIVES

Broad statements

Specific

General intentions

Precise

Intangible

Tangible

Abstract

Concrete

Generally hard to
measure

Measurable
The Difference Between Goals and
Objectives

Goals: knows about the human body.

Objectives: SWBAT name all of the bones
in the human body as stated in the
medical textbook "The Human Body"
Goals & Objectives Example
The goal of
a
learning
activity is
like
a target
Goal
The objectives
are the arrows
that help the
learner reach
the target and
demonstrate
mastery
Objectives
A.
State the definition of a complimentary
medical intervention or therapy.
B.
Provide the health professional with the latest
information about over the counter (OTC)
anti- histamines and their side effects.
C.
Introduce the reader to a new development in
the early detection of oral cancer.
D.
Be exposed to a new way of organizing
paperwork.
Can you identify the Goals?
There is only one objective on the
previous slide-
A. State the definition of a complimentary
medical intervention or therapy.
The rest are all broad based goals!
Clue:



Every educational
activity should have a
goal
The goal focuses on
what the learner will
experience, rather
than what the
instructor will share
or do
It is a broad
statement of purpose
A few things to remember about
goals
ALWAYS BEGIN WITH THE END RESULT IN
MIND!
Be SMART
The Components of an Objective
Criteria
Description Questions
Specific
Is there a description of a precise
behavior and the situation it will
performed in? Is it concrete, detailed,
focused and defined?
Measurable
Can the performance of the objective
be observed and measured?
Achievable
With a reasonable amount of effort
and application can the objective be
achieved? Are you attempting too
much?
Relevant
Is the objective important or
worthwhile to the learner? Is it
possible to achieve this objective?
Time-bound
Is there a time limit, rate number,
percentage or frequency clearly
stated? When will the objective be
accomplished?
Be SMART
The ABCD method of writing objectives is
an excellent starting point for writing
objectives (Heinich, et al., 1996). In this
system, "A" is for audience, "B" is for
behavior, "C" for conditions and "D" for
degree of mastery needed.*
*Taken from Penn State University Online:
http://ets.tlt.psu.edu/learningdesign/objectives/writingobjectives
The ABCD Approach
Who is this activity
intended for? Be
specific!
At the end of instruction,
the students
will be able to.....
As you target a specific
audience with your
objective make sure that
you are meeting the
needs of all learners in
that group.
A=Audience (the learners, readers or
participants, not the instructor)
What exactly is it that
you want the learner to
be able to do as a
result of your ...
The behavior is the
action (verb) that
describes what the
learner (audience) will
be able to do after the
instruction.
B=BEHAVIOR
(what the participants will do)
*http://edtech2.tennessee.edu/projects/bobannon/helpful_hundred.html
Behaviors for educational objectives fall into three
categories, called domains
 Cognitive: Dealing with intellectual abilities;
Approximately 80% of educational objectives fall into
this domain; Most familiar to both instructors,
authors and learners
 Affective: Relating to the expression of feelings,
including emotions, fears, interests, attitudes, beliefs,
values and appreciations: Often the most difficult
objectives to develop
 Psychomotor: The easiest objectives to write as the
behavior is easily observed and monitored.
Psychomotor skills often involve the use of tools or
instruments;“ Hands On” courses will contain
psychomotor objectives
What type of behavior do you
want?
States what conditions
the instructor will impose when
the learners are
demonstrating mastery of a
skill.
Usually a WHEN or WHILE
statement
 “when given a set of five
unlabeled slides”
 “while working
independently”
What will the student be given
or already be expected to know
to accomplish the learning?
C= Condition
(imposed by the instructor)
The standard or
criterion for judging
the behavioral
performance.
What has to happen for
the learner to succeed?
It might be:
 Speed
 Accuracy
 Quality
 Quantity
D=Degree
What is “Good Enough”?
Can you breakdown the objective?
Using the job aid the
instructor will successfully
write a learning objective that
is observable, measurable,
and clearly defined.
Objective Breakdown
Quality Learning Objective-The
Breakdown
“When given a list of 20 words, the learner
will be able to identify correctly all the
cognitive action verbs”.
Audience “the learner”
Behavior “identify” (based on Bloom’s Taxonomy)
Condition “when given a list of 20 words”
Degree “all” (100%)
Example
A clearly stated learning objective can
serve two additional functions:
 imply a suitable teaching method; and
 lead directly to a suitable assessment
method.
Additional Benefit
Questions and Answers
http://online.fiu.edu/faculty/syllabusdevelopment/learningobjecti
ves
 http://tulane.edu/publichealth/mchltp/upload/Tips-for-writinggoals-and-objectives.pdf
 http://www.iom.edu/About-IOM/Making-a-Difference/CommunityOutreach/~/media/Files/About%20the%20IOM/SmartBites/Planni
ng/P1%20SMART%20Objectives.ashx

Resources

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