ERIC Number: ED193162
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Preparing Instructional Objectives: Agony or Ecstasy?
Roberts, Wesley K.
This paper 1) discusses the problems encountered in preparing objectives for instructional programs; 2) describes an informal research project in which seven instructional designers working on the same project attempted to determine agreement on an objective; and 3) suggests how to prepare objectives so that difficulties can be minimized. One source of confusion, from the outset, is the variety of terms that are used interchangeably in referring to such learning outcomes as instructional objectives, learner objectives, training objectives, and performance objectives. Even authors of texts who prescribe the use of objectives disagree on the components of objectives. Perhaps the most vehemently debated issue that arises in the preparation of objectives rests in the language used within them. Untold costs and delays are predictable on most instructional design and development projects at the acceptance or review phase because of language differences between the developers and the reviewers. An informal research project in which seven instructional designers worked on the same project illustrates the divergence of agreement on acceptable objective statements even when instructional designers are working together. Suggestions for preparing objectives so that difficulties are minimized include specifying a format and language in preparing objectives before projects begin, using a checklist to evaluate the suitability of objective statements, preparing a sample test item at the same time the objective is being prepared, and requiring that persons preparing objectives be thoroughly trained to write objectives. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Boston, MA, April 7-11, 1980).