An Introduction to the ABCs Ds of Objectives

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					An Introduction to the
ABCs & Ds of Objectives
James Marshall
San Diego State University
What Are Objectives?
  Tangible manifestations of goals
  Outcome statements of what learners can
  (will be able to…) do
  Clear reasons for training

      Given a printout, the learner will be able to (LWBAT)
       diagnose an electrical malfunction in a widget so that
       necessary parts can be ordered, resulting in repair in 90%
       of problems.
      LWBAT assemble the widget in under 45 minutes so that it
       functions to specification.
      The learner will choose to (LWCT) attend the opera at least
       once each season.
Why bother with objectives?
  Clear, public statement of purpose

  Guidance for kinds of strategies

  Guidance for validation/evaluation (can they do it?)

  Focus designer's attention on organizing and sequence
  (terminal and enabling objectives)

  Focus trainee's attention: communicates expectations

  Establishes specifications for instructional products and
Where do objectives come from?
  curriculum frameworks
  policy statements
  government statements and regulations
  management priorities
  subject matter experts
  research and review of the literature
  political pressure
What analyses give life to objectives?


 TASK ANALYSIS                 Optimals

Where do objectives come from?


  NEEDS                 GOALS

          OBJECTIVES            OBJECTIVES

Which are most like goals vs. most like objectives?

A. sorts the broken parts and working parts into
   two piles
B. pays strict attention to detail
C. is ever vigilant about the dangers inherent in the
D. can name the governor of each state and
   his/her party affiliation, when given the name of
   the state
From goals to objectives
GOALS                      OBJECTIVES
Broad                      Narrow

General intentions         Precise

Intangible                 Tangible

Abstract                   Concrete

Can't be validated as is   Can be validated as is

e.g. Knows about           After the teacher’s question,
     behavioral obj.       LWBAT name the 4 parts of
                           a behavioral objective
                           as per p.35 in Mager.
Kinds of objectives
 1. COGNITIVE: thought, knowledge
               "What the student is able to do”

 2. AFFECTIVE: feelings, choices
                "How the student chooses to act”

 3. PSYCHOMOTOR: physical skills
              "What the student can do”
                    LW . . .
LWBAT "Learner will be able to...."
         Used for:
           • Cognitive objectives
           • Psychomotor objectives
        Given a picture and 3 short sentences, the
        student will be able to match the picture with
        the sentence that describes it.

LWCT    "Learner will choose to...."

         Used for:
           • Affective objectives

        The citizen will choose to vote in every
  Components of an objective


    •   AUDIENCE
    •   BEHAVIOR
    •   DEGREE   (Criterion)
   Identifies WHO it is that will be doing it--
   It is never about the instructor,
   unless the problem or opportunity
   focuses on the performance of instructors.
           The newly hired executive
           The first year medical student

           The computer salesperson

           The veteran teacher

           The graduate student in EDTEC
   Behavior (performance)
What the learner will be able to do. Something

that can be seen or heard.

EGS:         Name, List, Describe, Attach,
             Compare, Repair, Convince,
             Save, Write, Create, Develop,
             Purchase,State, Cook, Produce,
             Tap Dance, Compose, Sequence,
Describes conditions under which the
performance is to occur. Will it be aided or not?
Purpose is to establish
the antecedents for performance

What will they be allowed to use?
What won't they be allowed to use?
Under what conditions must it occur?
What sets off the behavior?
What must the learner see and recognize as
appropriate stimuli for performance?
Given a crying child,
Given the question, ‘what did you do on your
summer vacation?’ and a rubric,
During the Olympic trials and on national TV,
When the screen blinks and line 122a reads
Given a radar that shows an incoming plane, at
night, and with fuel sufficient for only 20 more
minutes of flight,
With a map of the United States, with drawn state
Degree / Criterion
Tells how well the behavior must be done.

Common criteria:
Can also use "pointing" criteria, though less
     "As established in the reference manual."

     "As defined by the American Red Cross."

 Answers the question: What's good enough?
Degree / Criterion
So that the child starts breathing

To match the map given in the 3rd grade textbook,
page 67

With no more than one prompt from the teacher

With no more than one miscue or error

Including all four parts as defined by Mager

Improving customer satisfaction ratings by 25%
Requirement 1
1 Should be stated from an INDIVIDUAL
  LEARNER'S point of view, NOT the
  teacher's or instructor's.

 Good One:
 The fourth grader will be able to write a
  sentence using alliteration.

 Bad One:
 The English teacher will teach the students
  the technique of "alliteration“ so that they
  can use it in their writing.
  Requirement 2
2 They should state what knowledge, skills, or
  attitudes a learner should have attained by the END
  of instruction (OUTCOMES/ENDS), NOT the
  activities or lessons which occurred DURING the
  instruction to get him/her there (NOT MEANS).
Good One:
Given a second-degree polynomial equation test, the
 algebra student will be able to use the quadratic
 formula to solve 8 of 10 equations in a paper & pencil

Bad One:
Given a lecture on the quadratic formula, the algebra
 student will learn how to use the quadratic formula to
 solve 8 out of 10 equations given.
 Requirement 3
3 The actual performance the learner is to
  attain should be stated in OBSERVABLE or
  MEASURABLE terms. It will be seen the
  same way by 2 or more people.
Good One:
The fifth grader will be able to describe the five major
 organ systems of the human body in terms of their
 primary function and major physical organs.

Bad One:
The fifth grader will have a good understanding of the
 body’s organ systems.
Some Common Errors
1. VASTNESS        Restating the goal
                   Too broad in scope
                   Must be reduced

2. COMPLEXITY      Includes two or more unrelated

3. WEAK CRITERIA   Criteria must be:
More Common Errors
4. FALSE GIVENS       Statement of learning
                      setting or method

5. DOMAIN CONFUSION   Goal and objective must

6. EARNESTNESS        Promises too much
                      and not in behavioral
What would you say?
  “Who are YOU to establish objectives for
  someone else?"

  "We want a program for teachers on
  empowerment. Where are you going to get
  objectives for such an important topic?"

  "I don't like to be tied down by anything like

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