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.
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