Three Taxonomies Of Education Objective Essays

Learning Objectives

About this Lesson

When we design a lesson, we usually start from learning objectives. We need to know what students will be able to do upon their successful completion of the lesson in order to decide what should be taught. Sometimes learning objectives are given to us. Sometimes we need to write our own learning objectives. No matter what, identifying and writing good learning objectives are the important skills that we, as educators, should have. The purpose of this lesson is to sharpen your skills of identifying and writing good learning objectives.

At the beginning of this lesson, we will briefly define learning objectives, and explain their importance. Then we will illustrate the three important components of a useful learning objective, and clarify some common misconceptions. There are six sections in this lesson. Self-check quizzes are provided to help you monitor your own learning. You may either click on the "Next Page" link at the bottom of the screen to go to the next section or use the drop down menu at the top to go to a section of your choice. We highly recommend that you go through the lesson following the order of the sections if this is your first time working on the lesson.

Learning Objectives

Upon your successful completion of this lesson, you will be able to

  • Define learning objectives;
  • Explain the importance of learning objectives;
  • Identify the three components of a useful learning objective;
  • Differentiate between student performance and instructor performance;
  • Differentiate between learning objectives and learning activities;
  • Identify measurable verbs;
  • Identify the six levels of intellectual skills in the cognitive domain;
  • Identify valid conditions that can be included in learning objectives;
  • Identify valid criteria that can be included in learning objectives;
  • Identify good learning objectives.

Learning Objective Definition

Learning objectives are also called instructional objectives or performance objectives. They are the statements that describe what students will be able to do once they successfully complete a unit of instruction (Dick, Carey, and Carey, p. 125). A good learning objective is specific, measurable, and clearly stated.

The Importance of Learning Objectives

Learning objectives are a critical component of instruction. They have two important functions:

  1. Provide course developers guidance on selecting suitable:
    • instructional materials;
    • teaching methods, including learning activities and use of technology;
    • assessment methods.
  2. Help students focus on what they are expected to learn, and understand how they will be assessed.

This is why we always emphasize that learning objectives should be specific and measurable. The example below demonstrates good alignment of learning objectives, learning activities, and assessments. It shows us how a clearly stated learning objective can help an instructor create appropriate learning activities to help students acquire the desired skills and select good assessment tools to evaluate students' achievement.

Example

Please take a look at the example below which includes a well-written learning objective, a learning activity and an assessment. They are all in alignment.

Learning Objective

Class Discussion

Assessment

Students should be able to assess the usefulness of countertrade for certain economies.

 

I (the instructor) have assigned you a number 1 or 2. The 1's will be developing countries. The 2's are developed nations. (Feel free to choose a country and post as that.)

Depending upon your number/country consider from that nation's perspective, talk about whether countertrade is good or bad.

Post your response on the Discussion Forum titled "Countertrade Debate" and then comment on at least two of the other postings.

Essay Question: Choose two countries from the following; explain whether countertrade is good or bad.

England = United Kingdom
Africa = Egypt
India
Japan
Italy
Russian Federation
Arab World = Iran
China
United States

In order to help students achieve the learning objective, the teaching method the instructor selected is to have students participate in a group discussion activity. This group discussion activity requires students to apply what they have learned to analyze if countertrade is good for the selected countries. Students have to know countertrade, the advantages and disadvantages of countertrade, and the economic situation of the assigned countries in order to assess if countertrade is good for the selected countries. This discussion activity gives students the opportunity to review and apply what they have learned to solve a real world problem and receive feedback from each other. It can not only teach students' critical thinking skills but also have them practice the desired skills. The essay question is used to evaluate students' mastery of the learning objective. Students should be able to answer this question after they complete the discussion activity since the essay question is similar to the discussion question.

Additional Resources

Articulate Your Learning Objectives by Carnegie Mellon University clearly explains why we need to articulate our learning objectives and how to articulate our learning objectives. In addition, it also provides a list of action verbs and samples of learning objectives from different disciplines.

Writing Learning Objectives: Beginning With The End In Mind: This presentation clearly explained the differences between learning objectives and learning goals, the three components of an ideal learning objective, and how to write specific and measurable learning objectives.

Self-Check Quiz 

 

 

The Three Components of a Useful Learning Objective

Mager (1997) stated a useful learning objective should include the following three major components;

  • Performance – What are students expected to do?
  • Conditions – Under which conditions should the students perform?
  • Criteria – How well do students have to perform in order to satisfy the requirements?

Example

Take a look at this learning objective. Hover your mouse over the sentence to find the three components in this learning objective.

Given a topic, students will be able to use the College's online library databases to findat least onebookandat least onescholarly article.

This learning objective includes all of the three major components. It is specific, measurable, and clearly stated. We can easily tell what students are expected to do and what should be taught based on this learning objective. This lesson will teach students how to use the College's online library databases to find books and articles they need. To teach students this skill, we should demonstrate how to use the databases that are available through the College's online library to find reliable resources. When it is time to assess students' mastery of this learning objective, we can give students a topic and have them find at least one book and one scholarly article related to the given topic via the College's online library databases.

Additional Resources

Mager's tips on instructional objectives found on Georgia State University is excerpted from the second edition of Robert F. Mager's most popular book, Preparing Instructional Objectives. In this book, Mager carefully explained the three major components, identified and illustrated some common pitfalls when writing learning objectives.

Self-Check Quiz

 

Performance

Learning objectives are student-centered. They describe the desired student performance.

Student Performance vs. Instructor Performance

One of the common mistakes made when writing learning objectives is to describe what instructors want to teach instead of what students are expected to be able to do upon their completion of a unit of instruction. It is important to differentiate between student performance and instructor performance.

Example

Let's take a look at the statement below.

Help students to understand the foundations of western culture and society.

This statement describes what instructors will do. It tells us the topics that should be included in the instruction but it doesn't tell us what students are expected to be able to do. To revise this statement to a learning objective, we should rewrite it from student perspective. It will read:

Students should be able to explain the foundations of western culture and society.

Bloom's Taxonomy and Measurable Verbs

Bloom developed six categories of intellectual skills in the cognitive domain in 1956. A group of cognitive psychologists led by Lorin Anderson updated the taxonomy during the 1990's. You can find the six categories in the pyramids below, starting from the simplest behavior at the bottom to the most complex at the top. That is, the bottom ones must normally be mastered before the higher ones can take place. In order to teach students higher order thinking skills, basic knowledge should be provided first. Before we ask students to apply, analyze, evaluate, and extend what they are learning, we should make sure students can clarify their understanding and practice recall. Rewardingly, critical thinking exercises can deepen students' understanding and help them recall what they have learned.  

Old Version

New Version

Overbaugh, R. C., & Schultz, L. Bloom's Taxonomy. Retrieved from Old Dominion University website: http://ww2.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm

Measurable verbs are the verbs that describe the actions that can be observed. In other words, measurable verbs refer to specific activities that we can observe a student doing.

Most of our courses fall into the cognitive domain. We should refer to Bloom's Taxonomy and select measurable verbs when we describe student performance, which can help us focus on specific cognitive processes and use correct measurable verbs. Bloom's Taxonomy and Verbs found on Paul D. Camp Community College's web site is a good resource for us to refer to when preparing our learning objectives. It associates different measurable verbs with each level of the taxonomy. 

Example 1

Students will learn how to evaluate outside sources of information.

"Learn" is not a measurable verb. We can observe a student reading an article or searching for information on the Internet, but we can't observe a student learning something. It is not possible for us to decide on the cognitive development process that the verb "learn" refers to. Thus, there is no way for us to come up with an assessment tool to evaluate students' mastery of this learning objective.

To make this learning objective a useful learning objective, we can revise it to,

Students will be able to evaluate outside sources of information.

Example 2

Students will be able to list the four characteristics of effective leadership and explain how to develop leadership skills.

This learning objective uses measurable verbs. We can observe a student listing the characteristics and explaining things. However, "List" and "explain" refer to two different levels of learning. Listing the four characteristics can measure if students can recall the information. It refers to the Knowledge level on Bloom's Taxonomy. "Explain" requires students to understand the ideas and the concepts. It refers to the Comprehension level on Bloom's Taxonomy, which is higher than Knowledge level. Like we said, a learning objective should focus on specific cognitive process and use a simple sentence. To make this learning objective clearer, we should break down the task. It is OK to use two or even three sentences to adequately describe a learning objective.

So this learning objective can be revised to,

  • Students will be able to list four characteristics of effective leadership.
  • Students will be able to explain how to develop leadership skills.

Learning Objectives vs. Learning Activities

A learning objective describes a learned capability which is not a one-time event. When writing learning objectives for a unit of instruction, we usually start from the sentence "upon your successful completion of this lesson, you will be able to". Learning activities are the learning experiences that provide students the opportunity to practice the desired skills. They are different.

Example

Students will write an essay on one of the major theories of the cause of glaciation.

This statement describes a learning activity that can help students better understand the major theories of the cause of glaciation, so the desired skill that students are expected to acquire is to understand the major theories of the cause of glaciation. So the learning objective should be:

Upon your successful completion of this lesson, you will be able to explain the major theories of the cause of glaciation.

Remember the following principles when describing student performance:

Principles for Describing Student Performance

  1. Describe the desired student performance.
  2. Refer to Bloom's Taxonomy to focus on specific cognitive process.
  3. Select measurable verbs.
  4. Use simple sentences and words understandable by students without sacrificing technical accuracy.

Additional Resources

A Model of Learning Objectives was developed based on the revised Bloom's Taxonomy by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching of Iowa State University. It is a good visual presentation that visualizes the relationship between the levels of the cognitive development process and the knowledge dimensions. You may also want to refer to Bloom's Taxonomy by Carnegie Mellon University which briefly explains the knowledge dimensions and the levels of the cognitive development process.

Bloom's Taxonomy - Designing Activities tutorial developed by Colorado Community Colleges Online describes a variety of activities at each level of the revised Bloom's Taxonomy. You may refer to it when writing your own learning objectives. It can help you align your activity with a specific level of cognitive development process.

If you want to know more about affective domain and psychomotor domain, you may refer to Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains. This is a good review of different taxonomies in the three different learning domains, cognitive domain, affective domain, and psychomotor domain. 

Self-Check Quiz

 

Conditions

Everything happens within a context, but we have to be very careful when adding conditions to our learning objectives. Conditions are not instructions. We should only describe the conditions that will make significant difference to the nature of student performance. They can be anything that will be provided to students or things that students are not allowed to use when students perform the desired skills.

Remember the following three principles when adding conditions to your learning objectives:

Principles for Adding Conditions

  1. Only include the key conditions that are significant enough to affect the intended student performance.
  2. Absolutely do not refer to instructional conditions, such as, references to flash cards, lectures, discussion activities, etc.
  3. Don't add conditions for the sake of adding conditions. You don't have to include conditions in your learning objectives if there is no conditions that will make significant difference to the nature of student performance.

Example

Let's take a look at the statement below.

Without aid of instructor, identify strategies to document and conserve historic and cultural resources.

Learning objectives describe what students should be able to do once they successfully complete a unit of instruction. Should the aid of instructor impact students' behavior? The desired skill described in this statement is that students will be able to identify strategies to document and conserve historic and cultural resources. If students can't identify the strategies without the aid of their instructor, have the students obtained the desired skill? According to the third principle above, we don't have to include conditions in a learning objective if there is no conditions that will affect the nature of the student performance. This statement can be converted to a learning objective that will read

Students will be able to identify strategies to document and conserve historic and cultural resources.

Self-Check Quiz

 

 

Criteria

Criteria in learning objectives tell students how well they have to perform in order to achieve the learning objectives. Usually we expect students to be able to perform the desired skills with 100% accuracy. This criterion doesn't have to be included in each learning objective. If there are no other special criteria, don't include criteria in learning objectives. Remember do not include criteria that have nothing to do with the performance.

Remember the following three principles when adding criteria to your learning objectives:

Principles for Adding Criteria

  1. Grading criteria are not necessarily the criteria that should be included in learning objectives.
  2. 100% accuracy is the default criterion if there are no criteria included in a learning objective.
  3. Only include the criteria that can significantly affect the nature of student performance.

Example

Students will be able to describe the proper maintenance of common electrical test equipment in 75-100 words.

The number of words can be the criterion that we use to evaluate students but it won't affect the nature of how well students described how to maintain common electrical test equipment. According to the three principles for adding criteria, this learning objective can be revised to

Students will be able to describe the proper maintenance of common electrical test equipment.

Self-Check Quiz

 

 

Wrap-Up - Strategies for Success

The three important components of a learning objective are performance, conditions, and criteria. When preparing your learning objectives, please focus on describing student performance. Only include the significant conditions that can affect the nature of student performance and the criteria that can tell students how well the desired skills should be performed. It is acceptable if your learning objectives only describe student performance as long as they focus on specific cognitive processes and are measurable and clearly stated.

Keep the following strategies in your mind when writing learning objectives:

Strategies for Success

  1. Describe the desired student performance.
  2. Refer to Bloom's Taxonomy to focus on specific cognitive process. Break down the task.
  3. Select measurable verbs.
  4. Use simple sentences and words understandable by students without sacrificing technical accuracy.
  5. Only include the key conditions that are significant enough to affect the intended student performance.
  6. Absolutely do not refer to instructional conditions, such as, references to flash cards, lectures, discussion activities, etc.
  7. Don't add conditions for the sake of adding conditions.
  8. Grading criteria are not necessarily the criteria that should be included in learning objectives.
  9. 100% accuracy is the criterion if no other criteria specified in a learning objective.
  10. Only include the criteria that can significantly affect the nature of student performance.

The following example demonstrates how to revise a statement to make it a good learning objective. You will also see how we start from describing student performance and then add criteria and conditions to make the statement a useful learning objective.

Example

Using our previous class discussions as a starting point, write a 500 word essay to explain how training can help companies gain a competitive advantage.

Learning objectives are presented to students at the very beginning of a lesson when students don't know anything about the lesson. We should not include in the learning objective any reference to the class discussions. There is no way that students can know anything about the class discussions at this moment. Another problem with this statement is that the number of words can't guarantee that students will explain things well. It is an instructional method that can help students better understand their instructor's expectation, but it is not the criterion that can tell an instructor how well students have explained the topic.

To make the statement a learning objective, we can simply say

Students will be able to explain how training can help companies gain a competitive advantage.

If we want to add criteria to the learning objective, we can say

Students will be able to explain how training can help companies gain a competitive advantage from at least two different perspectives.

If we want to add conditions to the learning objective, we can say

Given a type of company, students will be able to explain how training can help it gain a competitive advantage from at least two different perspectives.

  

References

Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O. (2005). The systematic design of instruction (6th ed.). Pearson: Allyn and Bacon.

Mager, R. F. (1997). Preparing Instructional Objectives (3rd ed.). Atlanta, Georgia: CEP Press.

Clark, D.R. (2004). Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Retrieved from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html.

Colorado Community Colleges Online. (2014). Bloom's Taxonomy - Designing Activities. Retrieved from http://media.ccconline.org/ccco/FacWiki/TeachingResources/Blooms_Taxonomy_Tutorials/BloomsTaxonomy_Activities_Tabs/BloomsTaxonomyActivitiesTabs.swf.

Eberly Center: Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation of Carnegie Mellon University. Articulate Your Learning Objectives. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/design/learningobjectives.html.

Heer, R. (2011). A Model of Learning Objectives based on A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching of Iowa State University. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.celt.iastate.edu/teaching/RevisedBlooms1.html.

IT 3210: Teachers & Technology offered by Department of Middle/Secondary Education & Instructional Technology of Georgia State University. (1999). Mager's Tips on Instructional Objectives. Retrieved from http://www2.gsu.edu/~mstmbs/CrsTools/Magerobj.html.

Office of Faculty Development of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine of Ohio University. Writing Learning Objectives: Beginning with the End in Mind. Retrieved from http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/fd/writingobjectives.pdf.

Instructional Goals and Objectives

Writing Instructional Goals and Objectives

This site will introduce you to instructional goals, the three types of instructional objectives you may need to create to reach your goals, and the best way to write and assess them. Enjoy!

 

Writing Instructional Goals and Objectives

What is a Goal?

Goals are broad, generalized statements about what is to be learned. Think of them as a target to be reached, or "hit."

 

What is an Objective?

  • Objectives are the foundation upon which you can build lessons and assessments that you can prove meet your overall course or lesson goals.
  • Think of objectives as tools you use to make sure you reach your goals. They are the arrows you shoot towards your target (goal).

 

Are Goals and Objectives Really That Important?

 

  • The purpose of objectives is not to restrict spontaneity or constrain the vision of education in the discipline; but to ensure that learning is focused clearly enough that both students and teacher know what is going on, and so learning can be objectively measured. Different archers have different styles, so do different teachers. Thus, you can shoot your arrows (objectives) many ways. The important thing is that they reach your target (goals) and score that bullseye!

Thus, stating clear course objectives is important because:

  • They provide you with a solid foundation for designing relevant activities and assessment. Activities, assessment and grading should be based on the objectives.
  • As you develop a learning object, course, a lesson or a learning activity, you have to determine what you want the students to learn and how you will know that they learned. Instructional objectives, also called behavioral objectives or learning objectives, are a requirements for high-quality development of instruction.
  • They help you identify critical and non-critical instructional elements.
  • They help remove your subjectivity from the instruction.
  • They help you design a series of interrelated instructional topics.
  • Students will better understand expectations and the link between expectations, teaching and grading.

 

Types of Objectives

There are three types of objectives:

  • Cognitive
  • Affective
  • Psychomotor

Cognitive Objectives

Cognitive objectives are designed to increase an individual's knowledge. Cognitive objectives relate to understandings, awareness, insights (e.g., "Given a description of a planet, the student will be able to identify that planet, as demonstrated verbally or in writing." or "The student will be able to evaluate the different theories of the origin of the solar system as demonstrated by his/her ability to compare and discuss verbally or in writing the strengths and weaknesses of each theory."). This includes knowledge or information recall, comprehension or conceptual understanding, the ability to apply knowledge, the ability to analyze a situation, the ability to synthesize information from a given situation, the ability to evaluate a given situation, and the ability to create something new.

 

 

 

Affective Objectives

Affective objectives are designed to change an individual's attitude. Affective objectives refer to attitudes, appreciations, and relationships (e.g., "Given the opportunity to work in a team with several people of different races, the student will demonstrate an positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race, as measured by a checklist utilized/completed by non-team members."). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychomotor Objectives

Psychomotor objectives are designed to build a physical skill (e.g., "The student will be able to ride a two-wheel bicycle without assistance and without pause as demonstrated in gym class."); actions that demonstrate the fine motor skills such as use of precision instruments or tools, or actions that evidence gross motor skills such as the use of the body in dance or athletic performance.

 

 

 

 

 

Cognitive Objectives

Cognitive objectives are designed to increase an individual's knowledge. Many refer to Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive objectives, originated by Benjamin Bloom and collaborators in the 1950's.

Examples:

  • Given a description of a planet, the student will be able to identify that planet, as demonstrated verbally or in writing.
  • The student will be able to evaluate the different theories of the origin of the solar system as demonstrated by his/her ability to compare and discuss verbally or in writing the strengths and weaknesses of each theory.

Bloom describes several categories of cognitive learning.

Starting with basic factual knowledge, the categories progress through comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

  • Knowledge - Remembering or recalling information.
  • Comprehension - The ability to obtain meaning from information.
  • Application - The ability to use information.
  • Analysis - The ability to break information into parts to understand it better.
  • Synthesis - The ability to put materials together to create something new.
  • Evaluation - The ability to check, judge, and critique materials.

In the 1990's, Lorin Anderson, a former student of Bloom, along with David Krathwohl, one of Boom's original partners, worked to revise the original taxonomy. The Anderson and Krathwohl Taxonomy was published in 2001 in the book "A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives."

Here is a comparison of the original and revised taxonomies:

Note that in the revised taxonomy, synthesis and evaluation are switched. Also, verbs are used in place of nouns to imply the action one takes in each level.

  • Remember - Using memory to recall facts and definitions.
  • Understand - Constructing meaning from information.
  • Apply - Using procedures to carry out a task.
  • Analyze - Breaking materials into parts to determine structures and relationships.
  • Evaluate - Making jugements based on checking against given criteria.
  • Create - Putting materials together to form a unique product.

Whichever taxonomy you prefer, there are key verbs for each level you can use when writing cognitive objectives.

 

 

Example of Questions for Each Level

Remember

  • Who? What? Where? When? How?
  • Describe:_______.
  • What is _______?

 

Understand

  • Re-tell ________ in your own words.
  • What is the main idea of ________?
  • What differences exist between _____ and _____?
  • Write a brief outline.

 

Apply

  • How is _____ an example of _____?
  • How is _____ related to _____?
  • Why is _____ significant?
  • Describe an example of when ____ happens.

 

Analyze

  • What are the parts of ________?
  • Classify this according to ________.
  • Create an outline/concept map of ________.
  • Provide evidence that _____ is correct.

 

Evaluate

  • Compare and contrast _____ to _____.
  • Select the best product.
  • Critique the play.
  • Judge the following in these merits: ___________.

 

Create

  • Organize the following: ________.
  • Predict what will happen next.
  • What solutions would you suggest for ________?
  • How would you design a new ________?

 

Additional Links

  • Major Categories in the Taxonomy of Learning Objectives
  • Bloom's Taxonomy (University of Georgia)
  • Bloom's Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain
  • Learning Objective Verbs for Specific Disciplines
  • Beyond Bloom - A New Version of the Cognitive Taxonomy

Offline References

Anderson, L.W., & Krathwohl (Eds.). (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman.

Bloom, B.S. and Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals, by a committee of college and university examiners. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. NY, NY: Longmans, Green.

 

 

Affective Objectives

 Affective objectives are designed to change an individual's attitude, choices, and relationships.

 

Example:

  • Given the opportunity to work in a team with several people of different races, the student will demonstrate a positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race, as measured by a checklist utilized/completed by non-team members.

Krathwohl and Bloom created a taxonomy for the affective domain that lists levels of commitment (indicating affect) from lowest to highest.

 

The levels are described as follows:

Level

Definition

Example

Receiving

Being aware of or attending to something in the environment.

Individual reads a book passage about civil rights.

Responding

Showing some new behaviors as a result of experience.

Individual answers questions about the book, reads another book by the same author, another book about civil rights, etc.

Valuing

Showing some definite involvement or commitment.

The individual demonstrates this by voluntarily attending a lecture on civil rights.

Organization

Integrating a new value into one's general set of values, giving it some ranking among one's general priorities.

The individual arranges a civil rights rally.

Characterization by Value

Acting consistently with the new value.

The individual is firmly committed to the value, perhaps becoming a civil rights leader.

 

Here are key verbs for each level you can use when writing affective objectives:

Receiving

Responding

Valuing

Organization

Characterization

  • accept
  • attend
  • develop
  • recognize

 

  • complete
  • comply
  • cooperate
  • discuss
  • examine
  • obey
  • respond

 

  • accept
  • defend
  • devote
  • pursue
  • seek

 

  • codify
  • discriminate
  • display
  • order
  • organize
  • systematize
  • weigh

 

 

 

Additional Links

Behavioral Objectives - Affective Domain

Krathwohl's Taxonomy

 

References

Krathwohl, D.R., Bloom,B.S. and  Masia, B. B. (1964).Taxonomy of educational objectives, Book II. Affective domain. New York, NY. David McKay Company, Inc.

 

 

Psychomotor Objectives

 

 

 

 

 

 

This domain is characterized by progressive levels of behaviors from observation to mastery of a physical skill. Several different taxonomies exist.

 

 

 

Simpson (1972) built this taxonomy on the work of Bloom and others:

  • Perception - Sensory cues guide motor activity.
  • Set - Mental, physical, and emotional dispositions that make one respond in a certain way to a situation.
  • Guided Response - First attempts at a physical skill. Trial and error coupled with practice lead to better performance.
  • Mechanism - The intermediate stage in learning a physical skill. Responses are habitual with a medium level of assurance and proficiency.
  • Complex Overt Response - Complex movements are possible with a minimum of wasted effort and a high level of assurance they will be successful.
  • Adaptation - Movements can be modified for special situations.
  • Origination - New movements can be created for special situations.

Dave (1970) developed this taxonomy:

  • Imitation - Observing and copying someone else.
  • Manipulation - Guided via instruction to perform a skill.
  • Precision - Accuracy, proportion and exactness exist in the skill performance without the presence of the original source.
  • Articulation - Two or more skills combined, sequenced, and performed consistently.
  • Naturalization - Two or more skills combined, sequenced, and performed consistently and with ease. The performance is automatic with little physical or mental exertion.

Harrow (1972) developed this taxonomy. It is organized according to the degree of coordination including involuntary responses and learned capabilities:

  • Reflex movements - Automatic reactions.
  • Basic fundamental movement - Simple movements that can build to more complex sets of movements.
  • Perceptual - Environmental cues that allow one to adjust movements.
  • Physical activities - Things requiring endurance, strength, vigor, and agility.
  • Skilled movements - Activities where a level of efficiency is achieved.

The following list is a synthesis of the above taxonomies:

Level

Definition

Example

Observing

Active mental attending of a physical event.

The learner watches a more experienced person. Other mental activity, such as reading may be a pert of the observation process.

Imitating

Attempted copying of a physical behavior.

The first steps in learning a skill. The learner is observed and given direction and feedback on performance. Movement is not automatic or smooth.

Practicing

Trying a specific physical activity over and over.

The skill is repeated over and over. The entire sequence is performed repeatedly. Movement is moving towards becoming automatic and smooth.

Adapting

Fine tuning. Making minor adjustments in the physical activity in order to perfect it.

The skill is perfected. A mentor or a coach is often needed to provide an outside perspective on how to improve or adjust as needed for the situation.

 

Here are key verbs for each level you can use when writing psychomotor objectives:

  • bend
  • calibrates
  • constructs
  • differentiate (by touch)
  • dismantles
  • displays
  • fastens
  • fixes
  • grasp
  • grinds
  • handle
  • heats
  • manipulates
  • measures
  • mends
  • mixes
  • operate
  • organizes
  • perform (skillfully)
  • reach
  • relax
  • shorten
  • sketches
  • stretch
  • write

 

 

Additional Links

Behavioral Objectives - Psychomotor Domain

Simpson's Psychomotor Domain

Offline References

Dave, R.H., in R. J. Armstrong et al., Developing and Writing Behavioral Objectives (Tucson, AZ:  Educational Innovators Press, 1970).

Harrow, A.J. (1972). A taxonomy of the psychomotor domain. New York: David McKay Co.

Simpson, E. (1972). The classification of educational objectives in the psychomotor domain: The psychomotor domain. Vol. 3. Washington, DC: Gryphon House.

 

How To Write Instructional Objectives

 

Instructional objectives should specify four main things:

  • Audience - Who? Who is this aimed at?
  • Behavior - What? What do you expect them to be able to do? This should be an overt, observable 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 - How? 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 much? 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.

This is often called the ABCD's of objectives, a nice mnemonic aid!

Tip: Never use the word understand in an objective. It is too vague, and does not specify a measurable behavior.

 

Be SMART

Instructional objectives should be SMART:

 

Specific - Use the ABCDs to create a clear and concise objective.

Measurable - Write the objective so that anyone can observe the learner perform desired action and objectively assess the performance.

Achievable - Make sure the learner can do what is required. Don't, for example, ask the learner to perform complex actions if they are a beginner in an area.

Relevant - Demonstrate value to the learner. Don't teach material that won't be used or on which you will not assess.

Timely and Time Bound - Ensure the performance will be used soon, not a year from now. Also, include any necessary time constraints, such as completing a task in "10 minutes or less."

 

Examples of Well-written Objectives

Below are some example objectives which include Audience (A), Behavior (B), Condition (C), and Degree of Mastery (D). Note that many objectives actually put the condition first.

Audience - Green
Behavior - Red
Condition - Blue
Degree - Pink

Psychomotor - "Given a standard balance beam raised to a standard height, the student (attired in standard balance beam usage attire) will be able to walk the entire length of the balance beam (from one end to the other)steadily, without falling off, and within a six second time span."

Cognitive (comprehension level) - "Given examples and non-examples of constructivist activities in a college classroom, the studentwill be able to accurately identify the constructivist examples and explain why each example is or isn't a constructivist activityin 20 words or less."

Cognitive (application level) - "Given a sentence written in the past or present tense, the studentwill be able to re-write the sentence in future tensewith no errors in tense or tense contradiction (i.e., I will see her yesterday.)."

Cognitive (creation/synthesis level) - "Given two cartoon characters of the student's choice, the studentwill be able to list five major personality traits of each of the two characters, combine these traits (either by melding traits together, multiplying together complimentary traits, or negating opposing traits) into a composite character, and develop a short (no more than 20 frames) storyboard for a cartoonthat illustrates three to five of the major personality traits of the composite character."

Affective - "Given the opportunity to work in a team with several people of different races, the studentwill demonstrate a positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race, as measured by a checklist utilized/completed by non-team members."

When reviewing example objectives above, you may notice a few things.

As you move up the "cognitive ladder," it can be increasingly difficult to precisely specify the degree of mastery required.

Affective objectives are difficult for many instructors to write and assess. They deal almost exclusively with internal feelings and conditions that can be difficult to observe externally.

It's important to choose the correct key verbs to express the desired behavior you want students to produce. See the pages on cognitive objectives, affective objectives, and psychomotor objectives to see examples of key words for each level.

 

Typical Problems Encountered When Writing Objectives

Problem

Error Type

Solution

Too vast/complex

The objective is too broad in scope or is actually more than one objective.

Simplify/break apart.

False/missing behavior, condition, or degree

The objective does not list the correct behavior, condition, and/or degree, or they are missing.

Be more specific, make sure the behavior, condition, and degree is included.

Only topics listed

Describes instruction, not conditions. That is, the instructor may list the topic but not how he or she expects the students to use the information

Simplify, include ONLY ABCDs.

False performance

No true overt, observable performance listed.

Describe what behavior you must observe.

 

Self Check

How well do you understand the basics of writing good instructional objectives? Try this self test and you'll find out!

 

 

Additional Links

A Quick Guide to Writing Learning Objectives

 

 

Assessment and Instructional Objectives

Assessment and instructional objectives are ideally closely bound. A well-written objective should clearly illustrate the most important criteria for assessing if the individual has accomplished the objective.

This section illustrates how a well-written objective assists one in developing valid assessment instruments. Psychomotor, affective, and cognitive types of objective are illustrated here.

Psychomotor Performance Target

Goal

Walk the length of a balance beam.

Objective Derived From Goal

Given a standard balance beam raised to a standard height, the student (attired in standard balance beam usage attire) will be able to walk the entire length of the balance beam (from one end to the other) steadily, without falling off, and within a six second time span.

Purpose of Assessment

To partially determine placement on a high school gymnastics team. Other assessments using other gymnastic devices will be used in conjunction with this assessment to determine the final ranking/placement. The criterion for acceptable performance is thus irrelevant here; higher scoring individuals simply have a better chance of being selected for the team.

Possible Biases

As males do not use the balance beam in gymnastics, this assessment is for females only. Thus, some may consider this test gender biased; but the rules of gymnastics dictate this distinction is necessary. Testing male's performance on equipment they will not use is irrelevant.

This test is biased against people who are physically incapable of mounting a balance beam and/or walking. However, these people would be incapable of performing on a gymnastics team and thus would not attempt the assessment in the first place.

 

Assessment Procedure

Pretest

Not needed. This is a sorting type of assessment and is designed to rank individuals, not chart their improvement and/or change in behavior.

Sole Test

The student (attired in standard balance beam usage attire) must walk the entire length of a standard balance beam raised to a standard height steadily, without falling off, and within a six second time span. (Note how this part reflects the objective.) A team of no less than three judges will observe a given individual perform this task three times, using a given scoring rubric to assign a score for each trial. The trial score for each trial is the average of all the judge's scores. The overall score for the individual is the average of the three trial scores.

Rubrics for Assessment

5 - Walks the balance beam flawlessly. Does not need to check balance, does not pause. Completes the walk within six seconds.

4 - Walks the beam, but is somewhat unsteady. Completes the walk within six seconds.

3 - Walks the beam, but is somewhat unsteady. May pause one or more times. Takes more than six seconds to complete the walk.

2 - Walks the beam, but is very unsteady, almost falling off, may pause one or more times, and/or takes more than six seconds.

1 - Falls off the beam before completing the walk.

0 - Falls off the beam immediately.

Conditions of Assessment

  • Assessment occurs only during the walking phase, not during the mount/dismount phases.
  • The individual indicates when the assessment should begin.
  • The assessment ends as soon as the individual reaches the other end of the balance beam.
  • A team of judges consisting of no less than three people will use the provided rubric to assess a given individual. Additional judges are optional.
  • Individual judge's scores are averaged to determine a composite trial score for a given performance for a given individual.
  • Each individual is given three chances to walk the beam. The combined time for these three chances should not exceed three minutes per individual.
  • The average of these three trials (as determined by the judges using the provided rubric) is used to determine the overall score.

Validity Defense

  • The same psychomotor task is used to assess the desired psychomotor performance.
  • This type of assessment is easy to use and provides overt, non-ambiguous results.

Reliability Assessment

  • Three judges are used to improve reliability of assessors. (Inter-rater reliability).
  • Three trials per individual are allowed to improve reliability over time. (Test-retest reliability).

Assessment Package for Judges of the Balance Beam Exercise

Directions: Each individual must walk the balance beam. For each individual, use the following scale to assign a value to the individual's performance on the balance beam. Each individual will be given three trials or chances to walk the balance beam. Score each trial individually. After scoring each trial, hold up the numbered card in front of you that corresponds to the score you gave the individual for that trial. Your score will be averaged with the other judge's scores. Note that you must time the individuals; a maximum time of six seconds to walk the beam from one end to the other is permitted.

Scale

5 - Walks the balance beam flawlessly. Does not need to check balance, does not pause. Completes the walk within six seconds.

4 - Walks the beam, but is somewhat unsteady. Completes the walk within six seconds.

3 - Walks the beam, but is somewhat unsteady. May pause one or more times. Takes more than six seconds to complete the walk.

2 - Walks the beam, but is very unsteady, almost falling off, may pause one or more times, and/or takes more than six seconds.

1 - Falls off the beam before completing the walk.

0 - Falls off the beam immediately.

Conditions of Assessment

  • Assessment occurs only during the walking phase, not during the mount/dismount phases.
  • The individual indicates when the assessment should begin.
  • The assessment ends as soon as the individual reaches the other end of the balance beam.
  • A team of judges consisting of no less than three people will use the provided scale to assess a given individual. Additional judges are optional.
  • Individual judge's scores are averaged to determine a composite trial score for a given performance for a given individual.
  • Each individual is given three chances to walk the beam. The combined time for these three chances should not exceed three minutes per individual.
  • The average of these three trials (as determined by the judges using the provided scale) is used to determine the overall score.

Scoring Template for an Individual

Judge 1

Judge 2

Judge 3

Trial Total (Sum of Judge's scores)

Trial Score (Trial Total/# of Judges)

Trial 1

 

 

 

 

 

Trial 2

 

 

 

 

 

Trial 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall Score (Sum of Trial Scores/# of Trials) =

 

 


Affective Learning Target

Goal - Learner's perspective on civil rights will improve.

Objectives Derived From Goal

  1. Given the opportunity to work in a team with several people of different races, the student will demonstrate a positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race, as measured by a checklist utilized/completed by non-team members.
  2. Given the opportunity to choose/not choose to do so, the student will demonstrate a positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race, as demonstrated by choosing to participate (at varying levels of responsibility) in the organization of a racial equality rally.
  3. Given the opportunity to rank non-discrimination of race in relationship to other issues, the student will demonstrate a positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race, as demonstrated by ranking non-discrimination of race as more important than other issues.

Purpose of Assessment

To determine if an individual's attitude towards racial equality has improved. If the student's score increases at all on the posttest, they are considered successful.

Possible Biases

  • People from different cultures may use different body language and facial expressions to convey the same meaning. The assessor must take this into account when assessing an individual.
  • There may be other intrinsically-based (and thus difficult to quantify) motivations for participating in a rally.

Assessment Procedure - Objective 1

Objective 1 Pretest

The student being assessed would be part of a racially diverse group. The provided rubric would be employed by the instructor or by someone not actually participating in the group. To have a group member or members employ the rubric as a pretest device would invalidate it, for the individual's actions and mannerisms would change upon introduction of the rubric. This could interfere with or augment the instruction that would follow.

Objective 1 Posttest

The student being assessed would be part of a racially diverse group. The provided rubric would be employed by the instructor or by someone not actually participating in the group. Ideally, this assessor should be the same person who administered the pretest. To have a group member or members employ the rubric as a posttest device would invalidate it, for the individual's actions and mannerisms would change upon introduction of the rubric. Ideally, each student should be assessed at least two times with different groups.

Comparisons between pretest and posttest scores would be used to determine if a positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race has occurred.

Rubrics/Scoresheets for Assessment

Directions: For each individual, use the following scale to assign a value to the individual's performance on each item listed in the left column. Place an X in the most appropriate square to the right of each item. Example: If you decide a student only rarely attended individuals with the same amount of interest, place an X in the box under the 2. Twenty-eight possible points. Observe each student for 10 minutes.

 

Student Name:

 

4

Most (90-100%) of the time

3

Usually (60 - 89%) of the time

2

Somewhat (30 - 59%) of the time

1

Rarely (0 - 29%) of the time

 

 

 

 

 

Student attends to each individual with the same amount of interest.

 

 

 

 

Student uses the same respectful tone of voice when addressing each team member.

 

 

 

 

Student does not make culturally sensitive or degrading remarks. (Example: "You Brugians are always thinking about yourselves.")

 

 

 

 

When a disagreement occurs, the student addresses the disagreement and not the other team member(s). (Example: "I don't believe that is true because..." NOT "Maybe where you come from that's true, but...")

 

 

 

 

Student generally maintains the same body language and facial expressions for all other team members. (Example: The student frowns at Xavier all the time, but smiles at Jessica all the time.)

 

 

 

 

Student maintains same level of eye contact with all other group members.

 

 

 

 

Conditions of Assessment

  • The student must be unaware s/he is being assessed.
  • Pretest/posttest environmental conditions must be as similar as possible.
  • Group size should remain constant for pre and posttests.
  • Group topics should remain fairly consistent between pre and posttests.

Validity Defense

  • Overt, measurable actions are used to assess the student.
  • All assessment tasks work together in that they are assessing verbal and non-verbal responses (Internal structure evidence.)
  • This type of assessment is easy to use and provides overt, non-ambiguous results. (Practicality evidence.)
  • No negative or unexpected side effects are foreseen when this assessment is used. (Consequential evidence.)

Reliability Assessment

  • The same assessor is used on the pretest and posttest. (Assessor reliability).
  • Two trials per individual are allowed to improve reliability over time. (Test-retest reliability).
  • Environmental factors that may affect how a student reacts are neutralized.
  • Group dynamics, such as size and topic, are made as consistent as possible to neutralize possible external variations that might affect testing.

Assessment Procedure - Objective 2

Pretest

Via a paper handout, students would be asked to volunteer to work on developing a rally for racial equality. Students would return the handout having checked how they would like to (or not to) participate in the rally. The provided scoresheet would be employed by the instructor to assign a pretest score to each student.

Posttest (After instruction)

Via a paper handout, students would be asked to volunteer to work on developing a rally for racial equality. Students would return the handout having checked how they would like to (or not to) participate in the rally. The provided scoresheet would be employed by the instructor to assign a posttest score to each student.

Comparisons between pretest and posttest scores would be used to determine if a positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race has occurred.

Scoresheet

Assign each individual a numeric score based on his/her indicated level of involvement on the completed handout.

5 - Master organizer of entire rally.
4 - Organize a specific part of the rally.
3 - Assistant for two or more organizers of a specific part of the rally.
2 - Assistant for one organizer of a specific part of the rally.
1 - Minimal involvement (i.e., man refreshment stand night of the rally).
0 - No involvement.

Conditions of Assessment

  • No other external incentive must be provided/available to the student that might influence his/her choice of level of involvement.
  • Pretest/posttest environmental conditions must be as similar as possible.

Validity Defense

  • Overt, measurable actions are used to assess the student.
  • This type of assessment is easy to use and provides overt, non-ambiguous results. (Practicality evidence.)
  • No negative or unexpected side effects are foreseen when this assessment is used. (Consequential evidence.)

Reliability Assessment

  • The same assessor is used on the pretest and posttest. (Assessor reliability).
  • Environmental factors and covert incentives that may affect how a student reacts are neutralized.

Assessment Procedure - Objective 3

Pretest

Via a pencil and paper quiz, students would be asked to rank the relative importance of non-discrimination of race as compared to other social issues.

Posttest (After instruction)

Via a pencil and paper quiz, students would be asked to rank the relative importance of non-discrimination of race as compared to other social issues.

Comparisons between pretest and posttest rankings would be used to determine if a positive increase in attitude towards non-discrimination of race has occurred.

Sample Quiz

  1. You are the mayor of a large city. You have a budget surplus. Please rank the following programs in order of importance. The higher-ranking items will receive more money for programs that support them, and thus will be more successful.
    __ Additional Policemen
    __ Racial Equality Programs
    __ Spouse Abuse Shelters
    __ Pollution Control Programs
  2. You are the new superintendent in an inter-racial school. Several gangs exist, and there is graffiti everywhere. Teachers are afraid of some of the students. No type of security measures are in place at this time. You have a plan to change things, but you need to decide what to do first, second, etc. Please rank the following programs in order of importance.
    __ Racial Tolerance Programs
    __ Gang Control
    __ Graffiti Cleanup
    __ Security Program
  3. You are the social director in a small, rural town in mid-western United States. The population of your town was 100% white until this week. A Mexican family of 10 just moved into town. Rumor has it that the father of the family has no job at this time. The mother creates and sells crafts out of her house. The 8 children's ages span between 1 and 15. As social director, what do you think you should do? Please rank the following ideas in order of importance.
    __ Advertise Available Jobs Throughout Town
    __ Host an Open House for the Mother's Crafts
    __ Mexican Culture Awareness Social
    __ Do Nothing Unless Asked By Someone
  4. You are in an airplane with your classmates, a group of Indians, and a group of Eskimos. The plane crashes in the water, but fortunately many of you survive. The plane is sinking. You are one of the least injured people. Each group is huddled near an exit, and will be equally easy (or difficult) to rescue. Some of the less injured will probably be able to rescue themselves, but you are not sure. You have to decide who to rescue first, second, and so on. You doubt you have time to rescue everyone before the plane sinks completely. Please rank the following groups in the order you would save them.
    __ Your classmates
    __ The most injured
    __ The Indians
    __ The Eskimos
    __ The least injured
    __ Obviously dead bodies
  5. You are in charge of a private golf club. It was open only to white people with low handicaps (10 or less). Recently, the clubhouse burnt down, and many of the members have left for other clubs. You have to rebuild the physical site, and also build up the number of members. Please rank the following decisions in order of importance.
    __ Raise membership fees to help pay for the new clubhouse.
    __ Open the club membership to anyone who can pay the membership fee.
    __ Place a handicap limit on perspective members. Those people with a handicap greater than 20 cannot join the club.
    __ Build a cheap, temporary clubhouse for use until the new clubhouse can be built.

Scoring

  1. Item to examine for positive change is "Racial Equality Programs."
  2. Item to examine for positive change is "Racial Tolerance Programs."
  3. Item to examine for positive change is "Mexican Culture Awareness Social."
  4. Items to examine for positive change are "Most Injured" and "Least Injured."
  5. Item to examine for positive change is "Open the club membership to anyone who can pay the membership fee."

Conditions of Assessment

  • No other external incentive must be provided/available to the student that might influence his/her rankings.
  • Pretest/posttest environmental conditions must be as similar as possible.

Validity Defense

  • Overt, measurable actions are used to assess the student.
  • This type of assessment is easy to use and provides overt, non-ambiguous results. (Practicality evidence.)
  • No negative or unexpected side effects are foreseen when this assessment is used. (Consequential evidence.)

Reliability Assessment

  • The same assessor is used on the pretest and posttest. (Assessor reliability).
  • Environmental factors and covert incentives that may affect how a student reacts are neutralized.

 


Cognitive Learning Target: Problem Solving/Synthesis Level

Goal - Students will be able to create a cast (using cartoon characters, modern entertainers, etc.) which reflect the personalities of the characters in a piece of literature, and explain why they have chosen the particular cast members. (The cast would be those characters, cartoon figures, entertainers, etc. that they choose to play the role of each character in an upcoming TV show, movie, play, etc.)

Objective

Given two cartoon characters of the student's choice, the student will be able to list five major personality traits of each of the two characters, combine these traits (either by melding traits together, multiplying together complimentary traits, or negating opposing traits) into a composite character, and develop a short (no more than 20 frames) storyboard for a cartoon that illustrates three to five of the major personality traits of the composite character.

Purpose of Assessment

To determine if a student in a high school setting can construct a composite character based on the personality traits of two given characters, can depict the composite character's personality, and can logically defend the composite character's personality and actions. This is a pass/fail assignment. Student receiving a score of 26 or more on the provided rubric have passed this test.

Possible Biases

Some students may not be familiar with certain cartoon characters, due to cultural differences, or simply because of lack of exposure to the cartoon genre. In these cases, the instructor may want to assist the student in choosing two characters (cartoon or otherwise, fictional or non-fictional) the student is familiar with, so the student can complete the assignment without negative bias.

Assessment Procedure

The student will list five major personality traits of each of the two characters. These are perceived traits, and are not judged by the instructor as to their correctness. The student must then combine the traits of the two characters in a logical, defensible manner. Each new trait must be defended by the student either verbally or in writing. The following three examples illustrate this:

  1. Melding traits - Garfield loves lasagna. Green Lantern receives his power from a green lantern. His power is focused through a ring he wears. The ring must be recharged by the lantern every 24 hours. In the composite character, it may be necessary to recharge the Ring of Pasta with the Lasagna of Power every 24 hours.
  2. Multiplying together complimentary traits - If you have two characters that both fight for justice, the composite character would fight for justice as well, perhaps at a level some would consider fanatical.
  3. Negating opposing traits - If one character is good and the other evil, the composite character would be neutral. Thus he/she/it might respond to a bank robbery not because it is the right thing to do, or to share in the loot, but perhaps to collect a reward.

Then the student would develop short (no more than 20 frames) storyboard for a cartoon that illustrates three to five of the major personality traits of the composite character. The storyboard could be plain text (one paragraph would comprise a frame), rough sketches (one sketch per frame), colored drawings (one drawing per frame), or any combination thereof.

The instructor(s) would assess the storyboard by examining the listing of original personality traits and their combinations into a new composite character. The storyboard must reflect at least three of the composite traits in a story that fits the composite character. If the student offers a verbal defense, the instructor(s) must listen to this defense. If the defense is in writing, the instructor(s) must consult it at this time. The instructor(s) must use the provided rubric to assign a score to the student. Students must complete this assessment in two hours.

Conditions of Assessment

  • Student must be in an environment that supports paper and pencil activities. Optionally, sketching and coloring tools may be available for students wishing to express themselves with these tools.
  • Ideally, two or more instructors would assess a given student, as the assessment is partially subjective in nature.

Validity Defense

  • Overt, measurable actions are used to assess the student.
  • All assessment tasks work together in that they are assessing a synthesis task. (Internal structure evidence.)
  • This type of assessment is easy to use and provides overt, non-ambiguous results. (Practicality evidence.)
  • No negative or unexpected side effects are foreseen when this assessment is used. (Consequential evidence.)

Reliability Assessment

  • Subjectivity is minimized through the use of a rubric.
  • Two or more judges are recommended to improve reliability of assessors. (Inter-rater reliability).

Assessment Procedure

Read the following to the students. Also, have this available in print form:

A. Choose two cartoon characters. List five major personality traits of each of the two characters. Combine these traits (either by melding traits together, multiplying together complimentary traits, or negating opposing traits) into a composite character, and develop a short (no more than 20 frames) storyboard for a cartoon that illustrates three to five of the major personality traits of the composite character. Melding traits together, multiplying together complimentary traits, and negating opposing traits are defined in this way:

 

  1. Melding traits - Garfield loves lasagna. Green Lantern receives his power from a green lantern. His power is focused through a ring he wears. The ring must be recharged by the lantern every 24 hours. In the composite character, it may be necessary to recharge the Ring of Pasta with the Lasagna of Power every 24 hours.
  2. Multiplying together complimentary traits - If you have two characters that both fight for justice, the composite character would fight for justice as well, perhaps at a level some would consider fanatical.
  3. Negating opposing traits - If one character is good and the other evil, the composite character would be neutral. Thus he/she/it might respond to a bank robbery not because it is the right thing to do, or to share in the loot, but perhaps to collect a reward.

B. After you have your combined traits list, develop short (no more than 20 frames) storyboard for a cartoon that illustrates three to five of the major personality traits of your composite character. The storyboard can be plain text (one paragraph would comprise a frame), rough sketches (one sketch per frame), colored drawings (one drawing per frame), or any combination thereof. (Show examples). You will be evaluated on how logical your combined traits are, how well you can explain/defend these traits, and how well your storyboard utilizes and illustrates those combined traits. This is a pass/fail test. You must score at least 26 out of 36 possible points to pass. (Explain rubric). You have two hours to complete this task.

Assessment Package for Judges of the Cartoon Melding Assessment

Directions: For each individual, use the following scale to assign a value to the individual's performance on each item listed in the left column. Place an X in the most appropriate square to the right of each item. 36 possible points. This is a pass/fail test. Students receiving a score of 26 or better have passed this test.

 

Name of Student:

 

3 - Excellent. The combination of traits is logical.

 

2 - Fair. The combination of traits is somewhat logical, but other interpretations are more so.

 

1 - Poor. The combination of traits is not logical.

 

Student combo of Traits 1

 

 

 

 

Student combo of Traits 2

 

 

 

 

Student combo of Traits 3

 

 

 

 

Student combo of Traits 4

 

 

 

 

Student combo of Traits 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 - The student’s defense of the combination is flawless.

 

2 - The student’s defense of the combination is adequate, but open to argument.

 

1 - The student’s defense of the combination is weak.

 

Student combo of Traits 1

 

 

 

 

Student combo of Traits 2

 

 

 

 

Student combo of Traits 3

 

 

 

 

Student combo of Traits 4

 

 

 

 

Student combo of Traits 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 - Excellent. The student used at least three of the combined traits in the storyboard.

 

2 - Fair. The student used one or two of he combined traits in the storyboard.

 

1 - Poor. The student used at most one of the combined traits in the storyboard.

 

Storyboard construction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 - The story fits the composite character - i.e., it is believable for that character.

 

2 - The story fits the composite character but is somewhat artificial or contrived.

 

1 - Poor. The student used at most one of the combined traits in the storyboard. The story does not fit the composite character and is somewhat artificial or contrived.

 

Storyboard coherence

 

 

 

 

 

Total Score:

 

 

 

Activities and Instructional Objectives

 

Dwyer, 1991 – "If your final objective is to have learners engage in problem-solving,you inspect the instructional unit to make sure that the content contains the appropriate facts, concepts, rules/principles, etc. which are a prerequisite for that intended learners to engage in successful problem-solving."

Activities can include writing papers, doing projects, solving problems, discussing issues, etc. Activities should flow naturally from your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What do the students need to do in order to achieve the course goals and objectives? Is it only memorization of concepts? Probably not. Then what activities are necessary to achieve the level of learning you expect?
  • What do students need to memorize in order to perform higher-level tasks? What is the most basic? Can other information be looked up as needed or does the student need to know the information "on demand?"
  • What is the ideal way to learn course content if money, time, location were not of concern? What of those ways can be incorporated into this course?
  • What kind of knowledge/skills do you want to the students to apply in later courses or in their internship or jobs? Problem-solving, analysis, or what?
  • What learning activities will motivate students; that is, what will convey your passion about the content?
  • What will the students do in class, out of class and in recitation/small group sessions?
  • What must the students, teaching assistants, and you do to support students as they learn?
  • What is the nature of the class and how might that impact the range of student activities?

You want to select student activities based on the level of the objectives. Following are some examples of student activities related to different levels of cognitive learning.

Level of Learning

Student Activities

Facts

Self-check quizzes, trivia games, etc.

Concepts

Have students show examples/non-examples, student generated flowchart, etc.

Rules/Principles

Design projects and prototypes, simulations, etc.

Problem Solving

Case study, small group discussion, critical thinking, teamwork, etc.

 

Additional Links

How to Write Learning Objectives that Meet Demanding Behavioral Criteria

TEDI Learning Activities

UMUC Teaching and Learning Activities

EKU TLC Teaching Tips

Michigan State on Objectives and Assessment

Offline References

Dwyer, F. M.(1991). A paradigm for generating curriculum design oriented research questions in distance education. Second American Symposium Research in Distance Education, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University.

Heinrich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J.D., Smaldino, S.E. (1996). Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.

 

Aligning Instructional Objectives, Activities, and Assessment

A well-written objective will assist you in aligning the objective to activities and assessment.

The graphic below (Adapted from Dwyer 1991) shows a mismatch of the objectives, instruction and assessment. In this case:

  • Objectives were set to problem-solving,
  • The students were assessed with problem-solving.
  • However, only lower levels of learning, such as concepts, were presented to students.

Because of this students who have not been exposed to problem-solving techniques related to the course will more than likely have low-achievement when working on problem-solving assignments or problem-solving questions on an exam.

In contrast, the graphic below (Adapted from Dwyer) shows one example of matching your objectives with instruction.

  • Set your objectives to teach problem-solving.
  • Design your instruction and learning activities to teach or demonstrate problem-solving.
  • Assess the students at the problem-solving level.

Offline References

Dwyer, F. M.(1991). A paradigm for generating curriculum design oriented research questions in distance education. Second American Symposium Research in Distance Education, University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University.

Heinrich, R., Molenda, M., Russell, J.D., Smaldino, S.E. (1996). Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.

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