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.

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. Define the criterion of acceptable performance (e.g. following the theoretical guidelines explored in class).
  4. 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:


  1. Select your instructional strategy and ensure it targets the overall behaviour act(s) you have outline in your objectives.
  2. Create an assessment, including a rubric, that clearly states the weight of each task according to the behaviour act(s) you have previously identified.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  1. Develop teaching/revision materials on a topic
  2. Design an Artefact using dedicated design software
  3. Design a research project and outline how technology can support the different phases.
  4. Write an App or develop some code relevant to your to
  5. Make a film/podcast/ multimedia presentation about your topic
  6. Start up an online community or take an existing community into a new area – invite others to contribute.
  7. Explore a new way of using digital technology to support your research or studies and demonstrate this to others.
  8. Develop an online profile or produce a digital story of your learning journey.
  1. Web Design/authoring software. Presentation tools e.g. PowerPoint, keynotes, prezi, e-publishing, e-book building sites like joomag/ Wiki, including Wikipedia (go on, write!)/ Online Quiz Generator
  2. Computer aided design software e.g. Google SketchUp/ Graphic Design software e.g. Adobe Systems.
  3. Project or reference management tools/services e.g basecamp,/Mendeley.
  4. App building websites, Google Sites, WordPress, Wixx, Squarespace.
  5. Digital video camera, audio capture device/ voice or audio editing software such as Audacity, Powtoons, Prezi /screen capture software such as camtasia, jing, screencast.
  6. Community building sites e.g. ning, elgg/Social networking and media sharing sites /Online conferences including MOOCs.
  7. ANY
  8. Professional networking sites, e.g., LinkedIn, Instagram/ Digital video camera or audio recording device and relevant editing software/ Websites and Web authoring such as WordPress, Wixx, SquareSpace/Personal blog.
  1. Share solutions to problem online: review and comment on other people’s contributions
  2. Explore the implications of using a particular technology or using digital technology to address a particular research, study or professional issue
  3. Evaluate a range of online resources and produce a summary of the topic with links to validated sources
  4. Moderate a discussion
  5. Draw conclusions linked to evidence
  6. Edit a presentation/ article from a range of contributions
  7. Describe and apply a method for reaching a decision, including criteria used
  1. Commenting function in Google Docs (private)/Review and comment a function in social media sites, blogs, wikis. PRAZE.
  2. Any
  3. Google, Google scholar and other search engines/ Scholarly debates and catalogues with search facilities/ Open repositories and data archives/Wiki post, blogs, forums, PRAZE
  4. Text based or video conferencing such as Skype, WhatsApp/ Collaboration environment such as PRAZE
  5. Blog post or wiki page with links/ Spreadsheets and databases such as Google forms and Excel.
  6. Wiki spaces and Wiki site/ Prezi, Powtoons, and other presentation software/Collaborative Software such as Google Docs, buzzword, storify.
  7. Decision analysis software. Mapping software e.g. Google Maps.
  1. Identify patterns in data/evidence
  2. Argue, defend, with links to evidence
  3. Collect and analyse interview data
  4. Predict and explain what happens in a simulation or virtual world
  5. Produce a cognitive map of a given topic or problem space
  1. Dedicated data analysis software with features such as sort, filter, formula and equations/ Visualization Apps e.g.  wordle / Geotapping such as  CartoDB or Concept Mapping software such as, Mindly, Popplet
  2. Blog post or wiki pages / Spreadsheet or database application with graphical outputs used as evidence
  3. Googleforms, Survey Monkey, statistical analysis software e.g. nVivo, HyperResearch
  4. Simulation / Game based / Virtual World such as OpenSimWorld
  5. Reference management software e.g EndNote, Mind mapping e.g., Mindly, Popplet / Process Analytics/ Geotapping and GeoMapping e.g. CartoDB or GoogleMaps
  1. Demonstrate a complex method, practice or technique
  2. Explore a case study or situation through a simulation
  3. Carry out a procedure or apply a method using dedicated hardware or software
  4. Aggregate, curate or organize materials
  5. Reuse, repurpose materials.
  1. Any discipline specific device/ Audio or Screen Capture technology e.g. Camtasia, screencast, Audacity/ Digital Video to capture a performance/ Illustration software e.g.Adobe Suite/ Presentation software e.g. Powerpoint, Prezi/ Virtual World e.g. OpenSimWorld
  2. Simulation / Game based environment / Virtual world e.g. Second Life / Open Simulations or representations e.g. Virtual human project, Google Earth, world of molecules etc.
  3. Any subject-profession-specific hardware software
  4. Storify/ Social bookmark systems e.g. delicious/ Aggregation services e.g. Pearltrees, Tumblr, Pinterest/ Digital drawing e.g. word processing, wiki post, blog post
  5. Editing software/ Digital writing e.g. word processing, wiki post, blog post, etherpad.
  1. Mind map a topic
  2. Reproduce ideas from one medium in another
  3. Select search terms to locate relevant materials
  4. Organize relevant materials through tagging, filtering or categorizing
  5. Take a quiz or poll to test understanding
  6. Practice writing in an academic style/ voice for different media – Twitter, blog, web page, briefing, voice over
  7. Gather examples or illustrations of a concept
  8. Explore Pathways through a topic.
  1. Mindmapping software e.g. Cmap, Mindjet, Mindmeister, Xmind/ Graphical features of presentation and writing software e.g. Prezi/ Aggregation services e.g Pearltrees, tumblr, Pinterest
  2. Any digital production medium e.g. video, audio, photographs, drawing, animation, or multimedia, e.g web, blog post
  3. Search engines/ scholarly databases e.g. scopus / Hashtags e.g across Twitter / Open repositories
  4. Keyword tagging in Youtube, Slideshire, blogs or wikis/ Online file management Evernote, Dropbox, Scrapbook
  5. Clickers/ Online quizzes e.g. Hot potatoes
  6. Any (provide guidance on writing for the web)
  7. Wiki pages / bookmarking sites e.g. delicious, reddit, Digg, Stumble Upon/ Archive building application e.g Omeka/ Twitterfeed / Subscription sites/aggregators e.g. RSS feeds, bloglines, blogger, Firefox, extensions
  8. Interactive learning resource or virtual tutorial / Open learning resource or repository of resources / Mindmap or graphical presentation
  1. Label a Diagram
  2. Make a recording, upload and tag it
  3. Take a quiz or poll to answer factual questions
  4. Identify and download a video, podcast, online tutorial or lecture relevant to your topic – remembering to take notes
  5. Locate online sources using given terms/ criteria  or from a known source
  6. Practice a basic skill or process in a simulated environment, e.g. to prepare using it in the field, lab or workplace.
  1. Online Whiteboard, collaborative writing / drawing Apps/ Diagrams to be labelled can be created in e.g Adobe Flash, xerte, Hot potatoes
  2. Digital audio device / digital video camera / Media sharing site e.g Flickr, Vimeo / Media repository
  3. Electronic voting devices (with suitable questions and feedback) / Online quiz generators.
  4. Open learning repository e.g OCW, OpenSpires, OpenLearn/ iTunesU
  5. Google and other search engines/ Scholarly databases e.g. Scopus / Open Repositories
  6. Simulations / virtual World / Game based environment /Haptic environment