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Learning objectives are the specific measures used to determine the success of your course. What must the learner be able to do? Good objectives use action verbs and include specific conditions (how well or how many) that describe to what degree the learners will be able to demonstrate mastery of the task.  You may want to think of what material you would put on a final test for your course and use that information to create your objectives. A well written objective is observable and measurable.

Tips for Writing Objectives

  • Focus on student achievement 
  • Do not focus on the instructor’s actions
  • Focus on the end product
  • Focus on the end behavior
  • Use only one outcome per objective

Parts of an Objective

An objective contains three parts:

  • Condition – Under what circumstances will the behavior occur?
  • Observable Behavior – Use an action verb to describe the behavior the learner will be able to exhibit 
  • Criteria – To what degree will the learner be able to demonstrate mastery of the task? 
  • Example: Given the textbook, students will analyze myths, identifying characteristics of a folk tale and define imagery, by reading "The World on the Turtle's Back" and responding to literary analysis questions with 85% accuracy or higher.

Action Verb Examples

The verb that you choose to use will depend on the level of mastery you want your learner to exhibit. For example, do you want your learner to be able to recall facts, or do you want your learner to be able to apply the information to perform a particular task or create something? The verbs below are examples of words that you may use for the observable behavior. 

Bloom's Taxonomy of Measurable Verbs

Recall

Identify

Discuss

Describe

List

Diagnose

Compare

Interpret

Explain

Outline

Differentiate

Use

Solve

Distinguish

Categorize

Plan

Design

Create

Formulate

Analyze

Assess

Judge

Critique

Rank

Select

Words to Avoid

The following words should be avoided when writing learning objectives. Remember, if it is something that cannot be observed or measured, you cannot use it in a learning objective. 

  • Know
  • Understand
  • Learn
  • Believe
  • Think

Write Your Course Objectives

Please write learning objectives for your course. If you have multiple versions of your content, please write specific objectives for each version. 

Upon successful completion of this course, the learner will be able to:

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.



Course Outline

The purpose of creating an outline is for you to organize and list all of the topics and subtopics that will be covered in your course. 

  1. Begin with your objectives. 
  2. Think about what information the learner will need to be taught in order to accomplish each objective. 
  3. Then, organize the tasks in a logical order. You may order the tasks in chronological order, from easy to hard, in sequential order, etc. 
  4. As you create your outline, think about how you can break your course down into logical chunks of information. 

If your course will be more than 30 minutes, consider chunking your course into smaller self-contained segments of no more than 10 – 15 minutes each. 

Beyond 15 minutes of instruction, you may lose your learner’s interest.  Therefore, we suggest that an individual module be no more than 30 minutes.    

Objectives

Content (Topics)

Measurement

List all learner’s objectives in behavioral terms

Provide an outline of the content for each objective. It must be more than a restatement of the objective. 

Describe how the objective will be measured. 

































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