Unit 2 Goals and Learning Targets of Instruction



1. Explain the following terms with relevant examples:-
Goals, Outcomes and Objectives
2. Discuss the importance of learning objectives for assessment.
3. List and explain the domains of educational objectives
4. Explain the Bloom’s cognitive domain and give examples.
5. Discuss the Revised Bloom’s taxonomy
6. Explain the affective domain
7. Explain the psychomotor domain

Definition of terms

Instructional Objective:    A stated desirable outcome of education or an intended learning outcome in terms of the types of performance students are able to demonstrate at the end of instruction to show that they have learned what was expected of them.  By the end of the lesson, students should be able to define the term, taxonomy.

Behavioural objectives:    A statement that specifies what observable performance the learner should be engaged in when the achievement of the objective is evaluated.  Behavioural objectives require action verbs such as discuss, write, read, state.

Learning objectives:         These specify what the teacher likes the students to do, value, or feel at the completion of an instructional segment.


Importance of learning objectives (targets) for classroom assessment

  1. Learning objectives make the general planning for an assessment procedure easier through the knowledge of specific outcomes.
  2. The selection, designing and construction of assessment instruments depend on knowing which specific outcome should be assessed.
  3. Evaluating an existing assessment instrument becomes easier when specific outcomes are known.
  4. They help to judge the content relevance of an assessment procedure. Specific learning outcomes provide information for the judgment.


Taxonomies of educational objectives

Taxonomies are hierarchical schemes for classifying learning objectives into various levels of complexity.  There are three main domains of educational objectives.

These are (1) cognitive, (2) affective, (3) psychomotor


Cognitive domain objectives produce outcomes that focus on knowledge and abilities requiring memory, thinking, and reasoning processes.

Affective domain objectives produce outcomes that focus on feelings, interests, attitudes, dispositions and emotional states.

Psychomotor domain objectives produce outcomes that focus on motor skills and perceptual processes.


The Cognitive domain

This domain was developed by Benjamin Bloom in 1956, hence it is known as Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives.  The taxonomy classifies educational objectives into 6 main headings.

  1. Knowledge. This involves the recall of specific facts, methods and processes.  They include those objectives, which deal with the recall or recognition of knowledge and the development of intellectual abilities and skills.  It is often defined as the remembering of previously learned material.  Illustrative verbs include define, identify, label.
  2. Comprehension. It is the ability to grasp the meaning of material.  It is shown by translating material from one form to another, or by interpreting material (explaining or summarizing). Illustrative verbs include convert, explain, summarize
  3. .Application. This refers to the ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations.  This includes the application of such things as rules, methods, concepts, principles etc.  Illustrative verbs include change, compute, and prepare.
  4. Analysis. This is the ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood.  This includes the identification of parts, analysis of the relationships between parts etc. Illustrative verbs include break down, differentiate, illustrate
  5.  Synthesis. This refers to the ability to put parts together to form a new whole.  This may involve the production of a unique communication, or a plan of operations. Illustrative verbs include categorize, combine, organize
  6. Evaluation. This is the ability to judge the value of material (e.g. novel, poem, and research report) for a given purpose.  The judgments are based on definite criteria. Illustrative verbs include appraise, contrast, support.


Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy

  1. Remember Retrieve relevant knowledge from long-term memory.
  • Recognizing (identifying)
  • Recalling (retrieving)
  1. Understand Construct meaning from instructional messages, including

                        oral, written, and graphic communication

  • Interpreting (clarifying, paraphrasing, representing, translating)
  • Exemplifying (illustrating, instantiating)
  • Classifying (categorizing, subsuming)
  • Summarizing (abstracting, generalizing)
  • Inferring (concluding, extrapolating, interpolating, predicting)
  • Comparing (contrasting, mapping, matching)
  • Explaining (constructing models)
  1. Apply Carry out or use a procedure in a given situation.
  • Executing (carrying out)
  • Implementing (using)
  1. Analyze Break material into its constituent parts and determine how the parts

relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose

  • Differentiating (discriminating, distinguishing, focusing, selecting)
  • Organizing (finding coherence, intergrating, outlining, parsing, structuring)
  • Attributing (deconstructing)
  1. Evaluate Make judgments based on criteria and standards
  • Checking (coordinating, detecting, monitoring, testing
  • Critiquing (judging)


  1. Create Put elements together to form a coherent or functional whole;

              reorganize elements into a new pattern or structure.

  • Generating (hypothesizing)
  • Planning (designing)
  • Producing (constructing)


Quellmalz (1985) also proposed a cognitive taxonomy, which has five categories.  These are:

  1. Recall. This requires that students recognize or remember key facts, definitions, concepts, rules, and principles.  They require students to repeat verbatim or to paraphrase given information.  g. Who wrote the story?
  2. Analysis. Students divide a whole into component elements, e.g. What are the different parts of the story?
  • Comparison. This requires students to recognize or explain similarities and differences.  g. How was this story like the last one?
  1. Inference. Students are given a generalization and are required to recognize evidence or details and are required to come up with the generalization.  g. What might be a good title for the story?
  2. Evaluation. Students are required to judge quality, credibility, worth, or practicality.  g. Is this a good story?

The Affective domain

This was developed by David Krathwohl, Benjamin Bloom and Masia in 1964.  They classified educational objectives in the affective domain into 5 categories.

  1. Receiving: It is the lowest level of learning outcomes in the affective domain.  It is the willingness of a student/pupil to attend to particular phenomena/stimuli (e.g. classroom activities, reading textbook or library books, doing class assignments etc.).  Examples of general instructional objectives include; listen attentively, and attends closely to the classroom activities.  Illustrative verbs that are used include asks, chooses, follows, gives, holds, names.
  2. Responding: It is the active participation of a student/pupil in given activities.  The student/pupil does not only attend to particular stimuli but also reacts to it in some way.  The student/pupil may read an assigned material or does an assignment or project.  Examples of general instructional objectives include; completes assigned homework, obeys school rules and regulations. Illustrative verbs that are used include answers, assists, complies, conforms, discusses, greets, practices, writes.
  • Valuing: It is concerned with the worth or value a student/pupil attaches to a particular object, phenomenon or behaviour.  The value ranges from a simple acceptance of a value to a more complex level of commitment.  Examples of general instructional objectives include; shows concern for the welfare of others, appreciates the role of science in everyday life.  Illustrative verbs include completes, describes, differentiates, explains, follows, initiates, invites, joins, reads.
  1. Organization: It is the ability to bring together different values, resolving conflicts between them, and beginning to build and internally consistent value system.  Students/pupils begin to develop philosophies of life.  Examples of general instructional objectives include; accepts responsibility for own behaviour, understands and accepts own strengths and weaknesses.  Illustrative verbs include adheres, alters, arranges, combines, compares, completes, defends.
  2. Characterization by a value or value complex: This is the highest level in the affective domain.  At this level, the individual student/pupil has a value system that has controlled his/her behaviour for a sufficiently long time for him/her to have developed a characteristic lifestyle.  Examples of general instructional objectives include; practices cooperation in group activities, maintains good study habits.  Illustrative verbs include acts, discriminate, displays, influences, listens, modifies, performs, practices, proposes, qualifies.


The Psychomotor domain

Simpson (1972) and Harrow (1972) developed categories in this domain.  Simpson produced 7 categories while Harrow had 6 categories.

Simpson’s categories

  1. Perception. This is the lowest level.  It is the ability to use the sense organs to obtain cues that guide motor activity.  For example, relating the sound of drums to the dance type.  Illustrative verbs include, choose, describe, detect, identify.
  2. Set. It is the readiness to take a particular type of action.  Demonstrating a proper position to save a penalty kick in a soccer game.  Illustrative verbs include, begin, displays, explains, shows, starts.
  3. Guided response. It involves the early stages in learning a complex skill.  For example, starting a car while beginning to learn how to drive.  Illustrative verbs include, assemble, build, construct, display.
  4. Mechanism. This occurs when a learned activity has become habitual and movements are performed with confidence and proficiency.  For example, typing, operating a video recorder.  Illustrative verbs include sketch, fix, fasten, dissect, assemble.
  5. Complex Overt Response. It is the ability to perform complex acts.  For example, driving an articulator truck, performing skilfully on the piano.  Illustrative verbs include assemble, build, construct, organize.
  6. Adaptation. It is the ability to modify movement patterns from well-developed skills to fit special requirements or situations.  For example, modify piano rhythms to suit local songs.  Illustrative verbs include adapt, alter, change, reorganize.
  7. Origination. This is the highest level.  It involves the ability to create new movement patterns to meet a specific need or particular problem.  Creativity and originality are emphasized.  For example, design a new computer software, create a new musical dance.  Illustrative verbs include arrange, create, design, originate.

Harrow’s (1972) categories

  1. Reflex movements are actions elicited without learning in response to some stimuli. Examples include: flexion, extension, stretch, postural adjustments.
  2. Basic fundamental movements are inherent movement patterns which are formed by combining of reflex movements and are the basis for complex skilled movements. Examples are: walking, running, pushing, twisting, gripping, grasping, manipulating.
  3. Perceptual abilities refers to interpretation of various stimuli that enable one to make adjustments to the environment. Visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or tactile discrimination. Suggests cognitive as well as psychomotor behavior. Examples include: coordinated movements such as jumping rope, punting, or catching.
  4. Physical activities require endurance, strength, vigor, and agility which produces a sound, efficiently functioning body. Examples are: all activities which require a) strenuous effort for long periods of time; b) muscular exertion; c) a quick, wide range of motion at the hip joints; and d) quick, precise movements.
  5. Skilled movements are the result of the acquisition of a degree of efficiency when performing a complex task. Examples are: all skilled activities obvious in sports, recreation, and dance.
  6. Non-discursive communication is communication through bodily movements ranging from facial expressions through sophisticated choreographies. Examples include: body postures, gestures, and facial expressions efficiently executed in skilled dance movement and choreographies.




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