Instructional objectives may also be called performance objectives, behavioural objectives, or simply objectives. All of these terms are used interchangeably. Objectives are specific, outcome based, measurable, and describe the learner’s behaviour after instruction. Instructional objectives serve as goals that teachers have set in the achievement of a greater goal. They also tell students what is expected of them. Instructional objectives make definite the direction in which teaching leads and become the focus of instruction, not only for the teachers, but also for the students.
Without instructional objectives teaching is comparable to a fallen leaf whose destination is dependent on the will of the wind. Without instructional objectives, teachers will have nothing to follow in order to achieve what it should achieve. A well-written objective should meet the following criteria; describe a learning outcome, be student oriented, be observable or describe an observable product. A well-written objective should describe a learning outcome. It should not describe a learning activity.
Learning activities are important in planning and guiding instruction but they are not to be confused with instructional objectives. A student-oriented objective focuses on the learner, not on the teacher. It describes what the learner will be expected to be able to do. It should not describe a teacher activity. It may be helpful to both the teacher and the student to know what the teacher is going to do but teacher activities are also not to be confused with instructional objectives.
If an instructional objective is not observable, it leads to unclear expectations and it will be difficult to determine whether or not it had been reached. The key to writing observable objectives is to use verbs that are observable and lead to a well defined product of the action implied by that verb. Verbs such as “to know,” “to understand,” “to enjoy,” “to appreciate,” “to realize,” and “to value” are vague and not observable. Verbs such as “to identify,” “to list,” “to select,” “to compute,” “to predict,” and “to analyze” are explicit and describe observable actions or actions that lead to observable products.
For an instruction to be useful, an objective must not only be well written but it also must meet the following criteria: be sequentially appropriate, be attainable within a reasonable amount of time, be developmentally appropriate. For an objective to be sequentially appropriate it must occur in an appropriate place in the instructional sequence. All prerequisite objectives must already have been attained. Nothing thwarts the learning process more than having learners trying to accomplish an objective before they have learned the necessary prerequisites.
This is why continuous assessment of student progress is so important. A useful objective is attainable within a reasonable time. If an instructional objective takes students an inordinately long time to accomplish, it is either sequentially inappropriate or it is too broad, relying on the accomplishment of several outcomes or skills rather than a single outcome or skill. An objective should set expectations for a single learning outcome and not a cluster of them. Instructional objectives are often classified according to the kind or level of learning that is required in order to reach them.
There are numerous taxonomies of instructional objectives; the most common taxonomy was developed by Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues. The first level of the taxonomy divides objectives into three categories: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Simply put, cognitive objectives focus on the mind; affective objectives focus on emotions or affect; and psychomotor objectives focus on the body. Cognitive objectives call for outcomes of mental activity such as memorizing, reading, problem solving, analyzing, synthesizing, and drawing conclusions.
Bloom and others further categorize cognitive objectives into various levels from the simplest cognitive tasks to the most complex cognitive task. These categories can be helpful when trying to order objectives so they are sequentially appropriate. This helps to insure that prerequisite outcomes are accomplished first. Affective objectives focus on emotions. Whenever a person seeks to learn to react in an appropriate way emotionally, there is some thinking going on.
What distinguishes affective objectives from cognitive objectives is the fact that the goal of affective objectives is some kind of affective behavior or the product of an affect (e. g. , an attitude). The goal of cognitive objectives, on the other hand, is some kind of cognitive response or the product of a cognitive response (e. g. , a problem solved). Psychomotor objectives focus on the body and the goal of these objectives is the control or manipulation of the muscular skeletal system or some part of it (e. g. , dancing, writing, tumbling, passing a ball, and drawing).
All skills requiring fine or gross motor coordination fall into the psychomotor category. To learn a motor skill requires some cognition. However, the ultimate goal is not the cognitive aspects of the skill such as memorizing the steps to take. The ultimate goal is the control of muscles or muscle groups. The following are the importance of instructional objectives in teaching I. C. T Firstly, Instructional objectives are of immense significance in today’s education process. They provide organizers of the process with the opportunity to delve into learners mind and know where they are heading.
Instructional objectives provide teachers the opportunity to design proper assessment procedure through tests and evaluation. Students know what they are supposed to do, use before or after a particular class. Instructional objectives also help trace the amount of change that has been brought about in a student. It gives a definite direction to the whole teaching-learning and evaluation process of a particular class in classroom situations. It also helps both the teacher as well as students in determining particular educational goals and enables them to focus their attention on specific learning activities to achieve those goals.
Through instructional objectives – the organizers of educational process can determine the resources, course materials, curricular and co-curricular activities, relevant contents and references etc. which are so vital to make the process functional. Instructional objectives also lead the teacher into discovering the best learning situations, strength and weaknesses of the prevalent learning process, level of growth and development of learners through a pre-determined evaluation process. In short, instructional objectives help in monitoring and evaluating the whole educational process in minute details.
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Topic: Instructional Objectives
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