Learners will be able to define a learning objective at a high level. This segment defines the formula and optional / required components of learning objectives (LOs). The formula is diagrammed and discussed.
- View Offline
- So, what is a learning objective exactly? In this video, I'll give you a more focused definition using a concrete example. A learning objective can be broken down into a formula with two main parts. Part one is an action, preferably an observation action. Part two is the inclusion of the learner as the subject. For example, let's look at this learning objective. The learner will explain tornadoes. Explain is an easily observable action, whether in written or spoken form.
And who's the subject? The learner. The learner will hopefully develop the ability to explain tornadoes by the end of the lesson. Maybe in an essay or an oral presentation. Informally, I like to say that a learning objective is a deal that the teacher makes with the learner. It is the specific promise of what the learner will obtain if they spend the time and effort required by the course. You can also think of a learning objective in terms of a guarantee, as if you're selling the value of the course to your learner. For example, I guarantee you that by the end of this golf lesson, you will be able to hit the ball 200 yards with the seven iron by the tenth try.
So here's my formal definition of a learning objective. A learning objective is a brief statement that specifically describes what the learner will be able to perform by the end of the lesson, unit, or course, to what degree, and under what conditions. Depending on your instructional content, it may be appropriate to include one or all of these. By when, under what conditions, with what resources, to what degree of precision, under what constraints.
Let's look at this extended formula using another example. By the end of this lesson, learners will be able to swim 100 meters solo in the university pool without any artificial aid. Example: Flippers, goggles, floatation device, in less than one minute. The text, "learners will," confirms that the learner is our subject. "Be able to swim" indicates the required observable action. "By the end of this lesson" indicates the By When component.
This could also be a more specific timeframe like by the end of the spring semester. "In the university pool" indicates the conditions. This section indicates the With What Resources component. Or, in this case, the absence of resources. "100 meters" clarifies the degree of precision. And finally, "solo" and "in less than one minute" indicate the constraints for the learning objective. As you can see, a learning objective can range from a simple statement to a fairly detailed specification.
The good news is creating these objectives is straightforward and logical. So, adding more detail doesn't actually take much extra time.
- Defining and structuring a learning objective
- Understanding the value of learning objectives
- Adopting learning objective theory
- Rewriting weak learning objectives
- Customizing learning objectives
- Creating learning objectives for new and existing material
- Analyzing courses for learning objectives
- Aligning assessments with learning objectives