Unformatted text preview: ; Ross, 1994).
1. What do you want your students to learn?
2. What types of instructional experiences will best accomplish the
3. What types of evaluation procedures will best demonstrate whether or
not your students have learned?
4. What are the characteristics of your learners?
Your answer to the first question should result in the educational objectives for
your instruction. The answers to the second and third questions should help you
design instructional activities and assessments that are matched to or aligned to
your objectives. The fourth question reminds us that learner characteristics need
to be considered as we identify objectives, learning activities, and assessments.
The various theoretical approaches to instructional design share the
common assumption that instructional design is a goal directed process;
instruction is designed to accomplish a purpose or intent. Therefore, developing
statements of those intentions or purposes is an important component of
instructional design. These statements go by a variety of names including goals,
aims, intents, objectives, competencies, proformas, and learning outcomes (Cohen 5 & Manion, 1977; Langdon, 1999). For our purposes, we refer to statements of the
intent or purpose of instruction as educational objectives.
Behavioral Theory and Educational Objectives
Behaviorists recommend that our objectives should specify the desired
learning outcome in measurable terms. Their recommendation to write objectives
in measurable terms is present in a number of discussions of the instructional
design process (Dick & Carey, 2001; Kemp, Morrison, & Ross, 1994; Merrill,
1999). In the early 1960s, Mager (1997) developed a commonly used format for
writing specific instructional objectives, which is consistent with the behavioral
A Mager-style instructional objective in has three components. First, it
specifies what students will be able to do. Second, it identifies the conditions
under which that beh...
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