Writing Instructional Objectives for Teaching and Assessment

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-01-01
  • Publisher: PRENTICE-HALL
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Provides a step-by-step guide to writing instructional objectives as intended learning outcomes. The author describes how to state objectives in terms of the type of performance students must demonstrate in order to show that they have achieved the goals of the instructionand illustrates his recommended methods with numerous examples.Describes a specific procedure for writing objectivesone that can be used to achieve all types of learning outcomes and is especially suited to teaching thinking, performance, and problem-solving skills. Stresses the important role of objectives in the teaching-learning assessment process and how they can be used to improve student learning. Includes material on the use of a table of specifications for item writing; information and new illustrations on how to prepare assessment instruments; five chapters on writing objectives for specific skillscognitive, affective, and performance; and two chapters on using objectives in constructing and interpreting achievement assessments.For use as a supplement to elementary, middle-school, secondary, and K-12 general methods teachers who want to become proficient at writing instructional objectives early in their career.

Table of Contents


1. Focusing on Intended Learning Outcomes.
2. Obtaining Clear Statements of Instructional Objectives.
3. Using Objectives in Planning for Instruction and Assessment.
4. Content Standards and Instructional Objectives.
5. Consideration in Preparing Instructional Objectives.


6. Writing Objectives for Knowledge, Comprehension, and Application Outcomes.
7. Writing Objectives for Higher-Level Thinking Skills.
8. Writing Objectives for Affective Outcomes.
9. Writing Performance Objectives for Skills and Products.
10. Writing Performance Objectives for Problem-Solving Projects.


11. Using Objectives in Achievement Testing.
12. Using Objectives in Performance and Affective Assessment.


A. Checklist for Evaluating the Final List of Objectives.
B. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.
C. Illustrative Verbs.
D. References.


This book provides a practical approach to writing objectives as intended learning outcomes. It describes and illustrates how to state instructional objectives in terms of the types of performance students must demonstrate to show that they have achieved the goals of the instruction. The procedure can be used with all types of learning outcomes and is especially useful with complex learning outcomes such as thinking skills, performance skills, and problem solving. As education moves toward a more comprehensive and integrated approach to learning, there is a need for instructional objectives that can clearly describe these broader learning outcomes in performance terms.The important role of objectives in the teaching-learning-assessment process is stressed. The text shows how well-written instructional objectives contribute to more effective instruction and improved student learning.Part I describes how to get started in writing instructional objectives, how to use objectives in planning for instruction and assessment, how content standards can serve as a general framework for writing objectives, and some factors to consider in preparing instructional objectives.Part II describes and illustrates how to write objectives for cognitive learning outcomes (ranging from knowledge to thinking skills), affective outcomes, and two levels of performance outcomes (traditional performance skills and problem-solving skills).Part III describes and illustrates how to use instructional objectives in the construction and interpretation of achievement tests and in the assessment of performance and affective outcomes.This edition differs from the last edition in the following ways: Chapter 1 was rewritten to clarify the differences between objectives at the training level and objectives used for higher-level learning outcomes, and to describe the relation of content and performance standards to instructional objectives. A new Chapter 3 describes the use of instructional objectives in planning for teaching and assessment. Material from a later chapter on the use of objectives in teaching was moved here so that students could better understand, early on, why they need to learn how to write objectives. A new Chapter 4 describes the use of content standards as a means of improving student learning and how instructional objectives relate to them. Chapter 11 now includes sections on the use of a simple table of specifications for item writing and the use of objectives for interpreting test results. Chapter 12 contains new information and new illustrations for preparing assessment instruments. Changes and additions to several other chapters now clarify or further illustrate the method of stating objectives as intended learning outcomes.These improvements in the book should add to its usefulness as a guide for writing instructional objectives and using them in teaching and assessment.My special thanks to the reviewers for their suggestions for desirable changes: James Berry, University of Maryland, College Park; Susan P. Giancola, University of Delaware; Keith D. Hepner, California University of Pennsylvania; and Jane Hughey, Texas A&M University. Thanks also go to Calvin K. Claus for the list of verbs in Appendix C, to the editorial staff of Merrill/Prentice Hall, and to Irene Palmer for her excellent typing. N. E. G.

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