Creating effective learning objectives using Bloom’s Taxonomy

Learning Objectives (LOs) are brief, clear statements about what students will be able to do. They indicate to the teacher and students both, what the lesson (or a set of lessons) aims to achieve for students and what students will learn by the end of the lesson(s). It has 3 major components:

The Performance: This will focus your attention on identifying the key idea that you want to convey to your students.

The Condition: This will help you in selecting the tasks, resources, and teaching methods that you think will help students learn. 

The Criteria: This will help you articulate the exact behaviour or action in students you would consider as evidence of learning.

Let us understand this with the help of an example:

For example – Let’s take a Class 2 English topic of pronouns. Let’s assume the teacher used a pronoun chart to teach students how to appropriately replace nouns with pronouns.

Here’s an example of a learning objective that is effective and relevant: “Students will replace 10/10 of the given nouns with appropriate pronouns using the pronoun chart.”

This LO is relevant because it caters to what can be expected of a Class 2 student which is to replace given nouns with appropriate pronouns.

Now, look at the learning objective below and identify if it is an effective learning objective or not.

“Students will understand with 100% accuracy the process of transpiration using a labelled diagram”

The learning objective in the above activity is not effective because the “performance” component, which specifies what exactly students will be able to do is not observable or measurable.  

  • Here’s a good example – Students will be able to define herbivores and carnivores.
  • Here’s an example that will not work – Students will know what herbivores and carnivores are.

Thus, we need to use action verbs to create effective measurable learning objectives in the “performance” of our learning objectives.

But how do we know what action words to use according to our learners’ learning levels and classroom context? Let us find out!

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification of the different objectives and skills that instructors set for their learners (learning objectives). The taxonomy was proposed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom, an educational psychologist at the University of Chicago.

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Click here to find different observable and measurable “Action Words” for each of the different skill levels.  Incorporating these words in the learning objective specifies which level you want to teach at and makes it easier to plan the lesson based on the skill level (this list is not exhaustive).

Go to Page 2 to answer a short Quiz.

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