Why do I care? | How do I write an instructional objective? | How do I classify instructional objectives?

What are instructional objectives?
Instructional objectives may also be called performance objectives, behavioral objectives, or simply objectives. All of these terms are used interchangeably. Objectives are specific, outcome based, measurable, and describe the learner's behavior after instruction. So what does that mean? Let's take a closer look.
. . . specific
Objectives are very specific. This means that they should describe precisely what the learner is expected to do.
. . .outcome based
Objectives are outcome based. This means that the objective is going to state what the learner should be able to do after the instruction is complete. The process of how the instruction happens is not considered in an objective.
. . .measurable
Objectives are measurable. This means that objectives should describe learning outcomes that can be measured; objectives should be seen or heard.
. . .describe student behavior
Objectives describe student behaviors. This means that objectives should relate what the student should be able to do after the instruction.


Why should I care? Instructional Objectives are key to effective instruction.

Effective instruction occurs only when student behavior is changed in desired ways. Because instructional objectives are tools for describing student outcomes, they provide a means to making the instruction effective. In addition, there are three reasons that instructional objectives are so important. Let's review these reasons.
. . . serve as a guide for students. Objectives tell students to what is expected of them. They eliminate the "guess work" because the expectations are clearly defined.
. . . serve as a basis for the selection of instructional media & materials and procedures. Objectives allow the teacher/facilitator to determine the media, and materials that is necessary to facilitate the learning. The procedures to be used to teach the new information becomes clearer once the objective is defined.
. . . determine the appropriate ways to evaluate the learning. Evaluation is always based on each instructional objective. Determining the objective classification will assist you in determining the appropriate methods for evaluation.

How do I write an instructional objective?
First, determine the learning outcomes for the lesson. In other words, what should the student be able to do when the lesson is over? Following the ABCDs of instructional objectives is a great way to make sure you include all the necessary information in an objective. Link to the A, B, C, and Ds of instructional objectives followed by interactive practice writing instructional objectives.

How do I classify instructional objectives?
Teachers should classify objectives because the type of objective dictates the selection of instructional methods, materials & media and evaluation used in the lesson. Objectives may be classified according to the primary learning outcomes that take place. These learning outcomes typically are classified into three domains or categories: cognitive, psychomotor or affective. Learn more about these domains.
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Last updated on February, 2012
Created 2002 by B. O'Bannon.
http://edtech2.tennessee.edu/projects/bobannon/ | Funded by Innovative Technology Center • The University of Tennessee