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DESIGNING LEARNING OBJECTIVES November 3, 2009

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What is a Learning Objective? A written STATEMENT A clear picture of what STUDENT OUTCOME (PRODUCT/PERFORMANCE) is expected AS A RESULT of a lesson Describes what the student will/will be able to do AFTER the learning occurs Is OBSERVABLE and MEASURABLE

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What a Learning Objective is NOT… A broad unit objective A description of what the teacher is doing A classroom activity in and of itself A test or homework assignment A description in terms of verbs which can’t be observed or measured, such as “know,” “learn,” “demonstrate,” or “understand.”

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How is a Learning Objective designed? There is a sentence STEM: Students will………… OR Students will be able to………… Both forms of the stem are acceptable. The stem clearly focuses the learning objective on the student behavior.

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1. WHAT will students do/ be able to do? 2. HOW will students do it/be able to do it? 3. WHAT DEGREE of accuracy or mastery is expected? 1. The BEHAVIOR part of the objective: EXAMPLE: Students will/will be able to create a time line of the main events at Gettysburg. 2. The CONDITIONS part of the objective: EXAMPLE: after generating a graphic organizer (entitled “A Decisive Battle) 3. The CRITERION part of the objective: EXAMPLE: and earn a rubric score of 3 or 4.

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How to define the STUDENT BEHAVIOR… Let’s look at Blooms’ original and revised taxonomies. What do you notice about them?

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Original Bloom’s Taxonomy Six Cognitive Domains: Synthesis HIGHER ORDER Evaluation Analysis Application Comprehension Knowledge LOWER ORDER

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Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy Six Cognitive Domains: Create HIGHER ORDER Evaluate Analyze Apply Understand Remember LOWER ORDER

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Original and Revised Bloom’s Taxonomies 1. Refer to specific cognitive domains 2. Contain specific action verbs that involve students in specific academic behaviors 3. Lead to specific student outcomes (products/performances) 3. These student outcomes can be assessed as evidence of student learning. 3.These outcomes inform the teacher about what students are able to do (and with what degree of accuracy or mastery) as a result of his/her teaching.

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Cognitive Domain: REMEMBER At this level, students retrieve relevant knowledge from long-term memory. Examples of REMEMBERING stems: Students will recognize… Students will recall… Students will recite… Students will identify…

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Cognitive Domain: UNDERSTAND At this level, students construct meaning through oral, written, and graphic communication. Examples of UNDERSTANDING stems: Students will classify… Students will organize… Students will interpret… Students will illustrate…

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Cognitive Domain: APPLY At this level, students carry out or use a procedure. Examples of APPLYING stems: Students will calculate… Students will estimate… Students will solve…

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Cognitive Domain: ANALYZE At this level, students break material into its parts and determine how parts relate to one another and to the overall structure or purpose. Examples of ANALYZING stems: Students will compare Students will contrast… Students will combine… Students will dissect…

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Cognitive Domain: EVALUATE At this level, students make judgments based on criteria and standards… Examples of EVALUATING stems: –Students will determine whether… –Students will judge which…

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Cognitive Domain: CREATE At this level, students put elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; re-organize elements into a new pattern or structure. Examples of CREATING stems: Students will construct… Students will research… Students will generate…

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Other verbs to show REMEMBERING… Locate DescribeName Repeat Quote Match Label ListMemorize Select Arrange State Copy Define

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Other verbs to show UNDERSTANDING… Summarize ReviewInfer Paraphrase Rewrite Compare Discuss RestateDefend Explain Distinguish Report Indicate Translate

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Other verbs to show APPLYING… ConstructUse AppraiseImplement SketchExecute InterviewCarry out Diagnose

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Other verbs to show ANALYZING: SortProve CategorizeSketch DifferentiateDiagram DiscriminateAttribute Classify

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Other verbs to show EVALUATING AppraiseJustify ArgueDefend AssessRate CritiqueEstimate Recommend

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Other verbs to show CREATING PlanDesignFormulate ComposeDevelopInvent ProduceProposeDevise Modify

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Is it an learning objective or an activity? November 3, 2009

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Learning Objective or Activity ? A Learning Objective is a statement of what a student will do/be able to do as a result of specific learning. An activity is merely a means through which a student will achieve the desired outcome (product/ performance).

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To be clear about the difference between a learning objective and an activity: Identify the outcome first and then tie it back to the activity. This approach is called “backward planning.” For example, a science teacher wants to teach her students about geologic earth formations. The outcome is that students identify diverse geologic earth formations and are given a specific product or means of displaying that learning. She employs the use of a web-based application of 3-D maps of the world. The student activity involves using this web program. The outcome is NOT that students know how to use the web program.

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Breaking it down: The Learning Objective: Students will identify ten specific geologic formations on earth in a poster after using web- based 3-D maps. The Student Activity: The activity engages students in the use of a web- based program. The Student Product/Outcome that is Observable and Measurable: The poster will serve to demonstrate whether or not students have correctly identified ten specific geologic formations.

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Learning Objective or An Activity? The following statements are representative of different subject areas. Some are more clearly learning objectives; others are more clearly classroom activities. After each statement, identify whether it is better classified as a learning objective or an activity.

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Learning Objective or Activity? 1. Students will be able to recognize the protagonist, theme, and voice of a piece of literature. 2. Students will produce a book report on a book of their choice, including a table of contents, with proper pages and format throughout. 3. Given a list of coordinates, students will be able to graph the slope of a line.

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Answers for Learning objective: Desired outcome of student demonstrated knowledge or performance is specified – “recognizing” 2. Activity: Desired outcome is not clearly specified - there is no level of understanding or ability specified that will be used to produce the book report 3. Learning objective: Desired outcome is specified – there are clearly defined skills that the students must demonstrate

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Learning Objective or Activity? 4. Students will compare and describe the slopes of two lines. 5. Students will compare and describe the differences and similarities between metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rock. 6. Students will be able to describe how the Borgia family influenced the Renaissance.

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Answers for Activity: No explanation of the skills/knowledge students must demonstrate while comparing /contrasting 5. Activity: No explanation of skills/knowledge students must demonstrate. Could be changed to a learning objective by changing to “Students will be able to describe/explain….” 6. Learning objective: Desired outcome of identifying a causal relationship is specified

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Learning Objective or Activity? 7. Students will be able to explain how the problems created by the French and Indian War contributed to causes of the American Revolution. 8. Students will produce a play dramatizing the problems created by the French and Indian War. 9. Students will be able to explain that matter is made up of atoms, and that atoms are made up of subatomic particles. 10. Students will write a paper describing the relationships among atoms and subatomic particles.

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Answers for Learning objective: Desired outcome of identifying a causal relationship is specified 8. Activity: Desired outcome of identifying a causal relationship is specified 9. Learning objective: Desired outcome for demonstrated student knowledge is specified 10. Activity: A paper is to be written, a topic is specified, but it does not make clear the knowledge or skill level a student must demonstrate

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Learning Objectives: Math Students will simplify fractions. (how?) Students will be able to simplify fractions by identifying the common factors. (better) Students will be able to simplify fractions by identifying and using the greatest common factor to simplify fractions. (better) Students will be able to recognize complex fractions that can be simplified and will be able to perform the arithmetic necessary to correctly complete the task. (better)

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Learning Objectives: Science Students will learn photosynthesis. (vague, not measurable) Students will describe photosynthesis. (an activity) Students will describe the process of photosynthesis and its role in plant life. (still a little vague, how?) Students will describe the process of photosynthesis and how it functions in terms of plant respiration, nutrition, and growth. (clearer, measurable)

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Learning Objectives: ELA Students will improve reading comprehension. (vague, not measurable) Students will answer questions about main idea. (an activity) Students will determine the main idea. (how?) Students will determine the main idea sentence of each paragraph in an expository text. (clearer, measurable)

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Learning Objectives: Social Studies Students will learn about the Industrial Revolution. (vague, not measurable) Students will learn about inventions in the Industrial Revolution. (a little clearer in focus, but still not measurable) Students will identify five inventions created during the Industrial Revolution. (clearer focus) Students will identify five important inventions created during the Industrial Revolution and explain how each one changed life in a significant way. (better)

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Learning Objectives: Dance Students will dance hip-hop. (an activity) Students will learn the dance steps and movements of hip-hop. (not measurable) Students will perform a short hip-hop routine that incorporates three hip-hop components. (clearer, measurable)

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