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The Power of the Learning Objective

The Power of the Learning Objective


Learning objectives have been used by schools for years and they continue to be an effective learning tool, despite advances in technology. A learning objective should describe what students should know or be able to do at the end of the course or lesson that they couldn't do before. Learning objectives are also known as learning outcomes.

Although often not much longer than a line or two, a learning objective focuses students and sets the structure of a lesson. They empower students to learn and to recognise their own achievements at the end of a lesson.

Why do we use learning objectives?

1)      Objectives give students an outcome or goal

2)      Objectives motivate teachers to complete the lesson and stick to the lesson plan

3)      Objectives are smaller and more digestible than a full lesson plan

4)      Objectives set the foundation for student-led discussion

5)      Objectives can help students understand the lesson purpose

Criteria for a good learning objective:

1)      Learning objectives need to be clear – Students must know what they will be learning about during the lesson, and how the learning objective can be applied to the bigger picture.

2)      Explain the learning objective – We advise tutors to talk through the learning objective with students, giving them the chance to ask questions. It’s no good students just copying the objective into their planner without understanding it. This also gives an opportunity for students to ask questions about the lesson ahead.

3)      The learning objectives need to apply to all students – They need to be achievable for the whole class so shouldn’t be too complex. The LO needs to explain the method of which the students will achieve the lesson goals.

4)      Is the learning objective achievable and measureable? – The LO needs to be achievable to ensure students feel like they could accomplish it by the end of a lesson. Ensure you will have enough time to reflect as a group, or allow time for students to reflect at the end of a lesson.

What is the difference between an aim and a learning objective?

A lesson aim is a very general statement of what the overall goal is in a lesson – the intention behind the teaching. The lesson objectives are the measurable stages that a learner will go through and need to achieve in order to accomplish the overall goal. Aims are like strategy, objective are like tactics.


Examples of a good learning objective

·        By the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify and develop data collection instruments and measures for planning and conducting research.

·        By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to identify and classify their spending habits and prepare a personal budget.

·        By the end of this course, students will be able to predict scientific outcomes.

·        By the end of this lesson, students will be able to ask questions concerning language usage with confidence and seek effective help from reference sources.

·        By the end of this course, students will be able to work cooperatively in a small group environment.

One of AB Tutors many features is the ability to allow tutors to display messages on all screens. Teachers who utilize AB Tutor often chose to display the lesson objective, with perhaps the lesson plan. Teachers are able to lock screens at the start of a lesson, eliminating distractions. This feature means that learning objectives can be visible for all students too.

We find that students tend to be a lot more distracted in an I.T suite, and AB Tutor eliminates that distraction and focuses students at the start of a lesson.

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