Writing Measurable Objectives

Writing Measurable Objectives

September 2, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


Imagine you’re planning a road trip to Las Vegas. You know your ultimate goal is to drive to
Vegas without running out of gas but there’s more to
it than that. Every step of your journey
has its own set of specific directions
that will help you reach
your ultimate goal. For example, you
may have to make a right turn exit on
the interstate find a gas station exit and take various other turns to get gas and then get
back on the road like driving to Las Vegas a well-developed
course will utilize various smaller
objectives to help students reach their ultimate
course objectives. But writing measurable
objectives can be challenging process
for instructors. Informing students
of the objectives is the second step
in Robert Gagne’s nine events of instruction. However it is often difficult for
instructors to determine what is measurable
and how to properly align an
objective with assessments. In this video we will explore
the process of writing clear measurable
objectives and aligning them with
course content. So before we get
too far into the specifics of
objective writing it’s important to note
the difference between course objectives and
lesson objectives. Course objectives are the specific skills
students will have accomplished by
the time they complete the entire course. So, on our road trip the equivalent of
course objectives would be to drive
to Las Vegas and to keep your gas tank from emptying completely. Lesson objectives are the specific
skills learners will accomplish
in each lesson you teach along the way. So, on our road trip these would be
the specific directions you get from your GPS and the specific steps and stops you make
to get gas. It’s important to note that you can’t complete your trip to Vegas without following the directions. Similarly your students
accomplishment of the lesson objectives
should contribute to their accomplishment of the course objectives. This is called alignment. Alignment is a term
that ensures that all assessments
activities and course materials are
tied directly to a lesson objective and that each lesson objective is tied to a course objective. But before we can focus on aligning
our objectives we need to be able to write clear measurable
objectives. According to the Quality Matters standards for course design,
both course and lesson objectives
should be written from the learner’s
perspective and describe outcomes
that are measurable. But how do we write these
measurable objectives? To get us started
I’ve written some objectives about
writing objectives. The first is to identify the particular skills
that will be assessed in
a course or lesson. So I would suggest making a list of topics that
your course will cover. The more broad
topics should go into your course
objectives column. Where the more
specifics will be in the lesson
objectives column. The next step is to select appropriate
action verbs from Bloom’s Taxonomy to
assess these skills will talk a little
bit more about Bloom’s Taxonomy
later but this is the part where
you just select exactly what your students
will be doing. And last we will write measurable objectives using these action verbs. In order for
an objective to be measurable it needs
to be assessed. The easiest way to explain this is that you should be able to see what your students are
accomplishing. You can see that a student has calculated or revised something but you can’t see that they have learned or understood something. This is where action verbs from Bloom’s
Taxonomy come into play. Developed by a team of educators in
the early 1950s, Bloom’s Taxonomy classifies objectives by
learning levels. When selecting verbs
for your objectives you should consider
the learning level of your course. A higher-level course
should focus on more higher-order
thinking skills such as analyzing
or hypothesizing. It is also
important to note what the students
will be doing. If your students are taking a multiple choice quiz your objective
should not use verbs such as describe or analyze. Just like if your
students are writing a compare and
contrast essay your objectives
shouldn’t use a verb like criticize. The objective should
match the task. If your goal is
to get to Vegas you wouldn’t instruct
someone to take a boat there, right? Here are three examples of concise measurable
objectives. After reading
The Great Gatsby students will categorize five major
characters as either static or dynamic and
defend their decisions. So you can see
the action verbs categorize and defend. So this is
an English course. It can easily translate
into a written paper. Students will analyze
the decisions made by the United States
government during World War Two. You can see the
action verb analyzed there which means it’s probably a higher order skill for a paper or project. And last students will
research a topic and present an informative
speech that meets the guidelines of
the rubric provided. So you can see
two action verbs their research and present. Additionally you see
the information about the rubric which tells students how they
will be measured. Now it’s time
for you to start working on objectives
for your course. If you need
any help contact CODL at [email protected]
or 785-864-1000.
169
00:00:00,NaN –>00:00:00,NaN