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Write 38 Measurable Objectives In Minutes!

Mar 15, 2008
My assumptions are that:
You have some basic knowledge of training.

Or you may have experience in the training field as an instructor.

You might have developed instructor-led training or printed training manuals.

YOu would rather get a root canal than write objectives!

Wait, there is hope!

The first most important principle to remember about writing objectives is: Understand is not a measurable objective!

Let me repeat, Understand is not a measurable objective!

Having written objectives for over 25+ years, I admit I am very picky. And when I see a document that starts off with objectives that include "understand", I cringe. Excuse me, how to do measure someone's understanding of a concept or procedure? You can't.

What is a measurable objective?
- Objectives are written to give direction to training events.
- A measurable objective contains an "action" verb thereby engaging the learner to demonstrate knowledge or problem solving skills.
- A measurable objective is "capable of being measured".

Here is how to quickly create measurable objectives by putting Bloom's Taxonomy theory into practice.

1. At the Knowledge Level, the learner exhibits previously learned materials by recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers.

Level 1: Key Words include: Choose, define, find, label, list, match, name, recall, relate, select, spell, tell, what, when, where, which, who, why

Use these to create instant objectives:

The student will be able to:
- Define what is ______?
- Match how is... related to______?
- Choose where is ______ found?
- Tell why we chose to use ______?
- Select the main ______?

2. At the Comprehension Level: the learner demonstrates the ability to relate to facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions and stating main ideas.

Level 2: Key Words include: Classify, compare, contrast, demonstrate, explain, extend, infer, interpret, illustrate, outline, relate, rephrase, show, summarize, translate

Use these Instant Objectives:

The student will be able to:
- Classify the type of ______
- Compare and contrast ______to ______
- Explain the process to ______ a ______
- Illustrate the best process to ______

3. At the Application Level: the learner solves problems by applying knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way.

Level 3: Key Words include: Apply, build, choose, construct, develop, experiment with, identify, interview, make use of, model, organize, plan, select, solve, utilize

Use these Instant Objectives:

The student will be able to:
- Solve common business case scenarios using ______
- Identify what would result if ______ happened
- Select the best ways to solv e a problem about ______
- Organize the ______ into ______ for efficiency
- Utilize the process to ______

4. At the Analysis Level: the learner examines and breaks down information into parts by identifying motives or causes; making inferences and finding evidence to support generalizations.

Level 4: Key Words include: Analyze, assumption, categorize, classify, compare, conclusion, contrast, discover, distinguish, divide, examine, inspect, simplify, survey, take part in, test for

Use these Instant Objectives:

The student will be able to:
- Discover the process by examining the individual components of the ______
- Classify the ______ into elements
- Conclude that ______ will happen if the following steps occur
- Examine the relationship between ______
- Categorize the parts of the ______

5. At the Synthesis Level: the learner compiles information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or other solution.

Level 5: Key Words include: Adapt, build, change, choose, combine, compile, compose, construct, create, design, develop, elaborate, estimate, formulate, imagine, improve, invent, make up, maximize, minimize, originate, plan, predict, propose, solve, solution, suppose, theorize, test,

Use these Instant Objectives:

The student will be able to:
- Discuss the changes needed to solve ______
- Choose the most efficient way to ______
- Invent a new technique to ______
- Modify the plan to ______
- Minimize the loss or risk by ______
- Combine the right techniques to ______
- Improve the efficiency by ______
- Propose effective strategies to ______
- Adapt a new way to ______
- Design a new approach to resolving ______

6. At the Synthesis Level: the learner presents and defends opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work.

Level 6: Key Words include: Agree, appraise, assess, award, choose, conclude, criticize, decide, deduct, defend, determine, disprove, dispute, estimate, evaluate, explain, influence, interpret, judge, justify, measure, mark, rate, recommend, rule on, perceive, prioritize, prove, select, support, value

Use these Instant Objectives:

The student will be able to:
- Provide reasons to agree with the ______
- Offer opinions on the effectiveness of specific wording to customers.
- Estimate the amount of time it takes to______
- Recommend effective strategies or tactics to complete work more efficiently.
- Recommend three approaches to ______
- Rate the effectiveness of ______
- Defend the actions of ______
- Evaluate representative / client conversations for ______
- Assess the value of ______

A closing note on writing objectives:

Don't use more than 3-5 objectives per unit of instruction. If there are more than that, consider breaking that unit into two parts. And even though we would like to think that we live in a perfect world and the learners need to achieve competence up to Level 6 - that's not reality. Be happy if you can get them to solidly achieve typical goals of Levels 1 - 4.

Good luck in writing objectives painlessly!
About the Author
Design2Train, a SBA 8a certified company, was founded by Karen Miller, an award-winning instructional designer with over 25+ years of project management experience. Design2Train specializes in creating training at the speed of business. Visit our website: Design2Train
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