Writing Effective Learning Objectives

As you learned in the webquest activity, to be effective, learning objectives need to be:

Effective learning objectives: specific, observable, measurable

To write learning objectives that are specific, observable and measurable statements, it helps to include the following components, which we call the "PCCs of learning objectives":

Components of learning objectives: Performance, Condition, Criteria

Performance: is a description of what learners will be able to do at the end of the learning experience. It is designated by an action verb so that it is observable.

Conditions: define the conditions in which learners will perform the learning tasks. This is what makes your learning objective specific.

Criteria: define how learners will be assessed. This component of your learning objective is what makes it measurable.

Let's have a look at an example of an effective learning objective that includes the PCCs:

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Example of learning objective with PCCs

And now, let's compare a couple of examples of learning objectives, based on their effectiveness:

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Non-effective Effective
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of cleaning procedures in the barn.
  • In a video demonstration of a barn, identify the four key areas that require cleaning routines and regular visual inspections.
  • Show an appreciation of what's involved in the conflict process.
  • Identify at least one characteristic of each one of the five stages of the conflict process.

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  1. If you haven't done so, download the course plan document and save it to your hard drive.
  2. In the learning objectives column, write the learning objectives for your course.
  3. Make sure the learning objectives are written according to Bloom's Taxonomy and include the Performance, Conditions and Criteria!