WRITING LEARNING OBJECTIVES Compiled by Elma Mendia Barajas
What is the Difference? Goal A statement that describes in broad terms what the learner will gain from instruction. Example Students will gain an appreciation of literature.
Learning Activities The activities a learner completes to reach the learning objectives. Example Students will complete worksheets on the simple past tense.
Learning Objective A statement in specific and measurable terms that describes what the learner will know or be able to do as a result of engaging in a learning activity. Example After completing Unit 6 (Understanding Linear Equations), students will correctly plot points on graph paper for 6 out of 8 linear equations.
Purposes of Objectives • Guides the teacher in the planning and delivery of instruction and evaluation of student progress and achievement. • Guides the student; helps him/her focus and set priorities • Allows for analysis based on data
Well-Written Learning Objectives have … SMARTS S pecific M easurable A chievable R elevant T ime framed S tudent-centered
Learning Objective Domains Cognitive (knowing) understandings, awareness, insights Psychomotor (doing) Physical skills Affective (feeling) attitudes, appreciations, relationships
Levels of Objectives Bloom’s Taxonomy • Knowledge • Comprehension • Application • Analysis • Synthesis • Evaluation EVALUATION KNOWLEGE
Tips for Writing Learning Objectives(The ABCD’s of learning objectives) Objectives should specify four main things: • Audience - Who is this aimed at? • Behavior - What do you expect them to be able to do? This should be an overt, observable and specific behavior, even if the actual behavior is covert or mental in nature. If you can't see it, hear it, touch it, taste it, or smell it, you can't be sure your audience really learned it. • Condition - Under what circumstances will the learning occur? What will the student be given or already be expected to know to accomplish the learning? • Degree - How will the objective be measured? Must a specific set of criteria be met? Do you want total mastery (100%), do you want them to respond correctly 80% of the time, etc. A common (and totally non-scientific) setting is 80% of the time.
Steps for Writing Learning Objectives • Create a stem (audience) • Students will be able to … • Algebra students will … • Add a verb and a “product” (behavior) • …. analyze the main characters … • …. identify common occupations … • …..create floral dresses …. • Describe the circumstances (condition) • …. after reading the story “An Hour for Abuelo” … • …. from a series of pictures showing different occupations … • …. using a sewing pattern …
Set the measurable criteria (degree) • …. based on the attached rubric • …. 8 out of 10 occupations. • ….. with no errors • Add an appropriate time frame • after reading the story “An Hour for Abuelo” • at the end of the Employment Unit • by the end of the semester
Examples of good Learning Objectives Audience – Green Behavior – Red Condition – Blue Degree – Orange Time Frame Black • After reading the story “An Hour for Abuelo”, studentswill analyze the main charactersbased on the attached rubric. (Special note: The condition and the time frame are the same for this objective.) • At the end of the Employment Unit, students will identify 8 out of 10common occupations from a series of pictures showing different occupations. • Using a sewing pattern , studentswill be able to create floral dresses with no errors by the end of the semester.
Our Challenge . . . . . . making learning objectives “user friendly” Here are my suggestions: • Students will analyze the characters in the “An Hour with Abuelo”. Students will be graded on the attached rubric. • By the end of the Employment Unit, students will correctly identify 8 out of 10 common occupations. • By the end of the semester, students will able to sew floral dresses with no errors.
Checklist forGood Learning Objectives • Does the learning objective stem from a course goal or objective? • Is the learning objective measurable? • Does the learning objective target one specific aspect of expected performance? • Is the learning objective student-centered? • Does the learning objective utilize an effective, action verb that targets the desired level of performance? • Do learning objectives measure a range of educational outcomes? • Does the learning objective match instructional activities and assessments? • Does the learning objective specify appropriate conditions for performance? • Is the learning objective written in terms of observable, behavioral outcomes?
Websites/Sources for Learning Objectives • http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/FD/writingobjectives.pdf • http://www.educationoasis.com/curriculum/LP/LP_resources/lesson_objectives.htm • http://www.personal.psu.edu/bxb11/Objectives/ • http://www.educationoasis.com/curriculum/LP/LP_resources/lesson_objectives.htm • http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/downloads/pdf/objective_statements.pdf • http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/downloads/pdf/objective_statements.pdf • Presentation by Steve Vincent and DiannePunKay (Hacienda-La Puente Adult Education): CCAE Conference – Fall Conference November 2008
Researching on Goal-Setting … … shows that: • Adult students who have specific goals are more likely to persist in their studies. • Adult students need support to persist. • The primary incentive to learner retention is learners being able to set a goal and realize some progress in reaching that goal. (Comings et al, 1999)
Steps to Writing Goals 1. Write the goal. • Students write a goal and write why this goal is important to them. • In addition, have students write what the goal looks likes when it is finished.
2. Outline the Specific Steps to Achieve the Goal. • Outline all the steps to achieve the goal. • Each step needs to be broken down into small manageable tasks that the student is able to accomplish.
3. Chart the Obstacles for Achieving the Goal • Students will chart the blocks on attaining their goal. • Students write how they will deal with each issue.
4. Set a Time Frame • Students write an approximate deadline for achieving the goal. • They can also chart the deadlines for the smaller goals to achieve their ultimate goal. It is best for students to see small successes otherwise they will become frustrated and walk away from the goal.
5. Revisit goals on a regular basis. • Students revisit their goals individually or as a classroom activity. • Have students identify ways to know that they have met their goal. • Students may want to modify goals as they go along.
6. Celebrate progress. • Post or share student “progress reports” (with student consent) such as the following: • Students write a paragraph on the goals met. • Students use a checklist to show which goals they have met. • Other ideas. Teachers should provide ways for students to see success early .
Some Tips for Teachers • Begin the goal-setting process after developing a level of personal trust and rapport with learners. • Use the goals that learners identify, the skills they need, and the strategies they’ll use to reach their goals to inform your curriculum and instruction. • Carefully select the most appropriate goal-setting instrument based on the learners. proficiency and the purpose/strengths of the instrument learner. • Revise the instrument, if needed or desired, to suit your learners needs and/or the instructional content.
Photocopy the instrument on colored paper so learners can find it easily for revisiting at a later time. • Model the goal-setting instrument before asking learners to complete the instrument by themselves. Use your own goals or those of an anonymous student for the modeling. • Consider posting learners goals in the classroom. Some learners find it a motivating to post their goals; other learners may not want their goals to be so public. Let the choice be optional. • Keep copies of learners goal setting instruments in their files. If learners misplace their copies, you’ll have ones on file for them to revisit.
Some Ideas/Tools for Goal-Setting Activities • Charts • Checklists • Paragraphs • Drawings • Other Ideas Good sources of goal-setting tools • Textbooks • Websites (see my list for some good ones) • Other teachers • Other ideas
Types of Goals Personal Goals Personal Goals are goals that are specific to only the student. Their personal goals will alter something about themselves. Classroom Goals As a class you brainstorm on a goal for the classroom. The goals will be decided on a democratic basis. All goals need to follow the four basic steps to writing a goal. School Goals The class brainstorm on what they would like to see different in the school. The class should only work on one school goal at a time otherwise it will become overwhelming. Another solution is to divide the class into two and have two groups working on different goals. Community Goals (Local or Global) Class suggests a variety of important community issues that are in need of help. Students just need a platform and you will be amazed with their ideas of how to help the community.
Types of Goals Physical Goals: Physical goals have to do with altering the physical body for the better. Mental Goals: Mental goals have to do with challenging the brain and getting it more active. It is important to keep the brain stimulated. Emotional Goals: Emotional goals have to do with gaining control of our emotions. Spiritual Goals: Spiritual goals are taking time to quiet the mind and body to be in the moment and to learn from the past.
Websites/Sources for Goal Setting • http://teachertipstraining.suite101.com/article.cfm/goal_setting_lesson_plan • Presentation by GrethenBitterlin (San Diego City College) and Sylvia Ramirez (MiraCosta College): CCAE Conference – Fall Conference November 2008 • http://ncbsonline.net/Goal%20Setting.htm (includes a “Goals Kit for adult learners”)