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Why It Matters

When designing instruction, you should start by creating clearly-defined, measurable learning objectives that:

  • Provide clarity of purpose and goals to learners, instructors, designers, and all stakeholders
  • Identify what will be measured in the assessment
  • Drive all design decisions, including the amount and type of content to convey, the amount of practice and application, multimedia approaches, and testing strategies.

Our Recommendation

Ensure that your learning objectives include three key components:

  1. Task: What task must the learner perform?
  2. Condition: How will the task be performed? Under what circumstances will the task be performed?
  3. Standard: How well should the task be performed? What are the criteria for success?

Sample Revision Process

You might already have a list of topics in mind that you'd like to cover. How do you turn those topics into a list of learning objectives? The following table illustrates a revision process that you might undertake.

Moving from general topics to specific learning objectives

First draft: Lewis Structures, VSEPR Theory, Valence Bond Theory

Tip: These are topics the learner should know, but we're interested in tasks the learner needs to do.

Revision: Know about Lewis Dot Structures.

Tip: Choose a more specific verb. "Know" is difficult to measure. Try using the list of action verbs as a guide (see below).

Revision: Draw and interpret a Lewis Dot Structure.

Tip: These are actually two objectives (i.e. "Draw and interpret"). Focus on one at a time.

Revision: Draw a Lewis Dot Structure.

Tip: Under what condition should this task be performed? In this case, what information is the student given?

Revision: Given a molecule, draw a Lewis Dot Structure.

Tip: Are there any standards that must be met? What is the criteria for success?

Revision: Given a molecule, draw a Lewis Dot Structure that best represents the arrangement of bonds and valence electrons.

Sample Verbs

The following table provides a list of suitable action verbs at each level of Bloom's Taxonomy.

KnowledgeComprehensionApplicationAnalysisSynthesisEvaluation

Arrange

Define

Describe

Identify

Label

List

Match

Memorize

Name

Order

Outline

Recall

Recognize

Record

Relate

Repeat

Reproduce

Select

State

Tell

Underline

Classify

Compare

Convert

Defend

Describe

Discuss

Distinguish

Estimate

Explain

Express

Extend

Identify

Indicate

Infer

Locate

Paraphrase

Predict

Recognize

Restate

Rewrite

Review

Select

Summarize

Tell

Translate

Apply

Change

Choose

Complete

Compute

Construct

Demonstrate

Discover

Dramatize

Draw

Employ

Illustrate

Interpret

Manipulate

Modify

Operate

Practice

Predict

Prepare

Produce

Relate

Schedule

Show

Sketch

Solve

Use

Write

Analyze

Appraise

Breakdown

Calculate

Categorize

Compare

Contrast

Criticize

Debate

Diagram

Differentiate

Discriminate

Distinguish

Examine

Experiment

Identify

Illustrate

Infer

Inspect

Inventory

Model

Outline

Point out

Question

Relate

Select

Separate

Subdivide

Test

Arrange

Assemble

Categorize

Collect

Combine

Comply

Compose

Construct

Create

Design

Develop

Devise

Explain

Formulate

Generate

Manage

Organize

Plan

Prepare

Propose

Rearrange

Reconstruct

Relate

Reorganize

Revise

Rewrite

Set up

Summarize

Synthesize

Tell

Write

Appraise

Argue

Assess

Attach

Choose

Compare

Conclude

Contrast

Defend

Describe

Discriminate

Estimate

Evaluate

Explain

Interpret

Judge

Justify

Measure

Relate

Predict

Rate

Revise

Score

Select

Summarize

Support

Value

 

 

 

 

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