Instructional Objectives and Behavioral Objectives

At the classroom level, aims and goals assume the form of Objectives which can be formulated instructionally or behaviorally. 

Click here to read about the interrelationship between aims, goals and objectives in Education.

Instructional Objectives 

An objective is a description or statement of the intended learning outcomes or performance expected by the teacher from the learners in the course of exposure to, or interaction with teaching-learning activities and resources in classroom situations. There are two types of objectives that can be set by a teacher. They are instructional and behavioral objectives. 

Instructional objectives focus on the instructional strategy of the teacher. Generally, such objectives indicate the type and measure of information, knowledge and, or, skills that the teacher hopes to achieve in the course of interactions with a set of learners in classroom situations. They explain what the teacher will do to achieve the objectives of the lesson. Examples are:

  1. to explain to the class the duties and qualities of a good citizen;
  2. to discuss with the students the need for cooperation in the society;
  3. to state the repercussions of conflicts in the society; and 
  4. to describe the functions of the legislative, executive and the judiciary organs of government and functioning interrelations in a democratic setting; etc.


Behavioral Objectives 

Behavioral Objectives (BO) have been variously defined by experts. For example, Popham and Baker (1970) defined Behavioral Objectives BO as statements of what learners ought to be able to do as a consequence of instruction.,To Merger (1962), it is what the learners should be able to do at the end of a learning period that they could not do beforehand. In this post, we will define it as a statement of educational Intentions, describing in specific, measurable and realistic terms, what the learners are expected to be able to do as evidence of their relatively changed behaviour or reconstructed experience resulting from shared experiences with the teacher and other learners on a given subject matter in classroom situations. 

Attributes of Behavioral Objectives are as follows: 

Behavioral Objectives BOs are characterized by: 

Specificity: Statements of Behavioral Objectives BOs should be very specific and not ambiguous. Words such as understand, know, perceive, convince and others that have the tendency of taking on other meanings apart from the intended one (semantics) should be avoided. Performance description words or verbs should be used. These include list, mention, identify, describe, explain, clarify, show preference for, draw, sketch, etc. 

Measurability: Words or phrases describing Behavioral Objectives BOs should be measurable to ascertain performance. 

Being Achievable: Behavioral Objective BO statements must be achievable with the stipulated short time interaction with the learners in classroom situations. 

Being Realistic: Behavioural Objective BO statements must be true to life or real in the context of classroom situations’ interaction with the learners. 

Being Short Time bound: Behavioral Objectives BOs statements must be such that the learners can exhibit, demonstrate or perform with the available timeline in the course of the single or double lesson period on a given subject matter. This is to ascertain the learner’s effectiveness in learning, and teacher’s effectiveness in teaching. 

Condition or Performance: Behavioral Objective BO statements must include the condition that will enable the learners to be able to perform the desired or intended task or learning outcomes as evidence of learning. Hence, the use of the phrase “at the end of the lesson, (i.e. the lesson on a given topic such as the fall of Oyo Empire, Eco System, Weathering, Motion, Word problems, etc) as lead statement to define, explain, explore, locate etc. 

Condition for Acceptable Performance: B0 statements should state a criterion or set of criteria for determining adequate, successful or satisfactory performance of the expected tasks or learning outcomes. For example, at the end of the lesson, the students should be able to define correctly, Osmosis, explain at least four advantages of division of labour and specialization; cite two examples of Sedimentary, Igneous and Metamorphic rocks. In Bloom’s taxonomy, BOs are stated in three domains, namely Cognitive. (knowledge), affective (Attitudes and values/ feelings) and Psychomotor (Manipulative skills).

It is important to state BOs to capture the three domains to ensure holistic, balanced and comprehensive learning. In stating BOs therefore, a set of objectives arranged in logical sequence in ascending order of difficulty or complexity should be observed. This will ensure that the learners proceed from the lower order to the higher order tasks. For example, list, name, mention, define are lower order cognitive based tasks. Whereas, categorise, classify, apply, compare, contrast, relate, evaluate, show preference for, etc are higher order words or phrases of BOs. The levels of application of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives for effective lesson planning, presentation and evaluation are shown in the table below. 

Cognitive Knowledge Application Analysis- synthetic EvaluationAffective (Attending) Valuing Receiving Responding Organizing Characterisation by a value or value complexPsychomotor Imitation Manipulation Precision

Purposes and Utilitarian Values of BOs 

  • Guide for the teacher relative to the design of instruction
  • Guide for the teacher for evaluation/test design (e.g. written tests, etc.) 
  • Guide for the learner relative to learning focus 
  • Guide for the learner relative to self-assessment 
  • Statements of objectives tell others what we value. 
  • Cause careful thinking about what is to be accomplished through instruction. 
  • Help relationship between teacher and learner because with explicit objectives, the instructor is viewed less in an advisory role because students are not forced to guess what is to be learned. 
  • Make teaching more directed and organised.
  • Help facilitate those situations in which we want students to demonstrate competency (The objectives can be specified in such a way as to specify competency) 
  • Aid in program evaluation 
  • Help avoid unnecessary repetitions in teaching 
  • Provide visibility and accountability of decisions made by teachers and learners 
  • Help students make decisions regarding prioritising
  • Provide feedback to learners as objectives are accomplished

Examples of Behavioral Objectives

  1. At the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to mention four duties of a good citizen. 
  2. By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to give three reasons why cooperation is needed in a society. 
  3. At the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to state four repercussions of conflict in a society.

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By Teezab

His name is Tiamiy Abdulbazeet. He is a writer and loves to write about Education, and all types of news. If he is not writing, then know that he is playing a game!😃

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