Measurable Verbs used in Behavioral Objectives
A. What are instructional objectives?
- 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.
B. Why have objectives?
- To provide direction to instruction.
- To provide guidelines for assessment.
- To convey instructional intent to others.
C. Types of objectives
- Cognitive: understandings, awarenesses, insights (e.g., “List and explain…”). This includes information recall, conceptual understanding, and problem-solving.
- Psychomotor: special skills (e.g., “dissect a frog so that the following organs are clearly displayed…”; “take a replicable blood pressure reading by appropriately using a sphygmomanometer”).
- Affective: attitudes, appreciations, relationships.
D. Tips for writing 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”).
- Writing Objectives for Lesson Plans Using Bloom’s Taxonomy and Associated Action or Performance Verbs
Use the tables on this page to help you prepare your Objectives:
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