writing_behavioral_objectives - Writing Behavioral Objectives The purpose of any educational endeavor is to produce change in the learner's behavior

writing_behavioral_objectives - Writing Behavioral...

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Writing Behavioral Objectives The purpose of any educational endeavor is to produce change in the learner's behavior through experience. Education is charged with expediting learning by selecting experiences which foster the desired change in behavior. Selecting behaviors appropriate to the learning situation and stating them in measurable terms provides the learner with direction and become the object of evaluation of the learner (Reilly & Oermann, 1990). Behavioral objectives provide a vehicle to specify the intended change in a way that can be evaluated objectively, i.e., is measurable. Webster's Dictionary defines an objective as "something toward which effort is directed; an aim, goal, or end of action." Should one embark on learning or directing the learning of others without a specified goal, the journey would likely be haphazard and arduous, analogous to a cross country road trip without the benefit of road maps, compass, or a trusty AAA trip-tik. You might know where you are starting from, a vague notion of your destination, but little idea how to get there. In our costly and outcome oriented educational and health care systems, we want to know how to get someone from point A to point B in the most time, resource, and cost effective manner. Behavioral objectives can be used to facilitate this process. Behavioral objectives force us to be precise and clear in communicating the intent of our teaching or learning. They are intended to indicate what is expected of the learner, which promotes accountability and evaluation. Behavioral objectives are a useful tool in formal educational programs, continuing education programs, staff education, program planning, individual professional practice, and personal development. The work of a number of scholars has made writing behavioral objectives more practical and do-able. Major contributors have been Bloom and his colleagues who developed a taxonomy or classification system for educational goals. They delineated three ways in which learning behavior is manifested, comprising three domains of instructional objectives: a) cognitive, the iptellectual ability, b) affective, the states of feeling and valuing, and c) psychomotor, motor skills and manipUlation. Although the three domains are interdependent, for purposes of clarity objectives are specified for one domain at a time. Differentiation of the domains and statement of behavioral objectives forces us to specify what is to be learned which provides clarity for both teacher and learner. Each domain includes a hierarchy of processes from less to more complex. The following is a summary of the taxonomy, including the hierarchy of levels within each domain (lower to higher). definitions of key terms, appropriate behavioral verbs, and examples of behavioral objectives.

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