Before you start designing of instructional event, it is important to review you learning objectives to ensure they clearly and explicitly communicate the outcomes you want students to achieve. Hattie (2011) argues that having clear learning goals and success criteria is critical for enhancing student achievement. Learning goals serve two main purposes. The first is to describe what students need to learn in terms of skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values in a particular unit or lesson. The second is to serve as success criteria to help students understand what you will use to judge their work. “If the success criteria are not clear there is a tendency to over rely on surface (more the content) rather than deep or conceptual understanding as this increases the probability of coverage of what is asked particularly in closed examinations” (134). The success criteria identified will also serve as the basis of assessment rubrics for grading purposes (Swan, Shen, & Hiltz, 2006).
Guidelines for writing learning objectives
“Any design of education can best be understood as a complex of interacting elements, not as a sequence of events” (Knowles, 1973).
Clear learning objectives will ensure a coherent interaction of elements through constructive alignment in your educational materials. An objective will communicate your intent to the degree you have described what the learners will be DOING when demonstrating their achievement and how you will know when they are doing it. Here are a couple of tips to help you write or review your learning goals. A generic sample objective is provided to exemplify each point:
Develop and justify an evaluation design in written form following the theoretical guidelines explored in class.
- Identify and name the overall behaviour act. A widely used tool to help you write measurable objectives is Bloom’s Taxonomy. (e.g. Develop and justify)
- Define the important conditions under which the behaviour is to occur (givens and/or restrictions and limitations) (e.g. to be presented in written form)
- Define the criterion of acceptable performance (e.g. following the theoretical guidelines explored in class).
- Write a separate statement for each objective.
After you have written your objectives for a task or a unit, ensure your task, resources and assessments are aligned. Here are a couple of suggestions to achieve that:
- Select your instructional strategy and ensure it targets the overall behaviour act(s) you have outline in your objectives.
- Create an assessment, including a rubric, that clearly states the weight of each task according to the behaviour act(s) you have previously identified.
- Explicitly state your objectives before you engage your learners in a lecture or instructional task. If possible, discuss your learning goals with your learners both to address any lingering doubts as well as reaching an agreement on them.
- Make sure your assessment rubric is readily accessible throughout the implementation of your instructional strategy.
A Taxonomy of Digital and Information Literacy Linked to to Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
The following table is designed to get your creative juices flowing by providing you with ideas of potential tasks you could implement in your subject. This table will also support the writing of meaningful outcomes that encompass digital capabilities and is aligned with Bloom’s Taxonomy. If want to learn more about the technological tools suggested, visit the Cognitive Toolkit for tutorials and more. Taken from (Beetham and Sharpe, 2013)
|Bloom’s (Revised) Taxonomy||Example learning tasks with a digital literacy component||Relevant digital tools, applications and services (examples only)|