Writing clear course objectives help define specific competencies and outcomes that will allow students to achieve a specific set of skills, knowledge, attitudes or values. Objectives should be observable, measurable, and valid. Objectives should also be aligned with course expectations.
Write Good Course Objectives
Well developed course objectives are specific, measurable, and written from the learner’s perspective. Use Bloom’s Taxonomy during this process to identify specific skills you want the student to demonstrate. Try to cover the different levels of each learning domain.
Avoid Using Verbs That Are Immeasurable
Verbs that represent actions or concepts that are difficult to measure include: appreciate, be familiar with, believe, comprehend, enjoy, know, learn, master and understand.
- The Center for Teaching and Learning (University of North Carolina): Writing Objectives
- Sandi Oster and F. Simone Tiu: Writing Measurable Learning Outcomes
- Learning House (The Online Learning Curve): 3 Tips for Writing Measurable Objectives
- Meg Gorzycki, Ed.D. (San Francisco State University): Writing Course Objectives and Outcomes
- University of Michigan Dearborn: Tips for Writing Goals and Objectives
- Rachel Van Horn Leroy (2011): Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Sequence Writing
- Linda B. Nilson (2010): Teaching at Its Best: A research-based Resource for College Instructors (.pdf)