By Sultan Muhammad
Goals, Aims and Objectives/Learning outcomes
Goals are broad statements that give a general direction to classroom instruction. As they are broad they have the advantage of relating many aspects of society and education. Due to their broad nature, they are achieved after a long time due to; some of the examples of goals can be to make better citizens, to advance humanity. To produce Islamic society. In education system, goals are considered to be the ends that society sets for it.
Aims are narrow as compared to goals; they are the targets to achieve the goals, aims are broader than objectives. They are set by the experts, curriculum planners, and educationists. They give indications about what is to be achieved after the completion of each course or subject? They are long ranged as compared to objectives but narrow if we compare them with the goals.
Simply we can say that aims put the goals into achievable and precise direction goals cannot be achieved without breaking them into achievable from. I.e. the aims. They are in the middle of goals objectives continuum as given in the diagram.
(Aims Goals Continuum)
Objectives/learning outcome                     Aims                                       Goals
                Highly                                    Intermediate                                      Highly
Specific                                                                                                   Broad
Objectives/ learning outcomes are best thought of as the intended outcomes of the process of education. They are highly specific and make the starting point of the above-mentioned continuum to reach the goals. They tell us what the students will be able to achieve as a result of teaching in a specified time i.e. a single class period. The diagram also shows the relation of goals, aims and objectives.
The educational Objectives/learning outcomes are expressions of what a teacher hopes his/her students can accomplish as a result of his/her teaching
These are specific, precise, attainable, measurable and corresponding to each specific teaching – learning activity.
They are formulated by the teachers at the instructional level.
These objectives/learning outcomes are written in a way to cater the individual learning needs of the students.
These objectives are clear and unambiguous description of teacher’s educational expectations of each student in the class.
Writing Behavioral Objectives
·                     Write down a list of general instructional objectives for the unit.
·                     Select the content desired to achieve the objectives of the unit.
·                     Express the instructional objectives describing what the students should perform after completing the unit.
·                     Begin these statements with a verb i.e. define identifies, classify, explain etc.

Importance of Learning Outcomes
Instructional objectives play a key role in the instructional process. When properly stated, they serve as guide for both teaching and learning, communicate the intent of the instruction to others and provide guidelines for evaluating pupil’s learning:
The methods and techniques (materials) of instruction are likely to be most effective and appropriate if we have first decided what types of performance pupils are expected to demonstrate at intended learning outcomes in performance terms is the main function of properly stated instructional objectives. This clarification of what pupils should be learning and how the learning is to be expressed not only aids the teacher but also helps others understand the focus of the instruction
In preparing instructional objectives. It is possible to focus on different aspects of instruction to achieve the learning outcomes. Some teachers prefer to state the objectives in terms of what they are going to do during the instruction e.g. to demonstrate to students how to use microscope.
Though this statement clearly indicates what the teaching activity is, it is less clear concerning the intended learning outcome.
A more desirable way of stating objectives is in terms of what we expect pupil to be able to do at the end of the instruction e.g. to identify the parts of the microscope.
Statement such as these:
a.                   To direct the attention to the pupils
b.                  And the types of performance they are expected to show at the end of instruction.
Thus our focus shifts from:
·                     The teacher to the pupil,  And
·                     From learning experience to the learning outcomes.
This shift in focus makes clear the intent of our students learning. Well-stated outcomes make clear the types of student performance we are willing to accept as evidence that the instruction has been successful.
When viewing instructional objectives in terms of learning outcomes, it is important to keep in mind that we are concerned with the products of learning rather that the process of learning.
Pupil                      Learning experience                                       learning outcomes
                                      (Process)                                                              (Process)
                                Study of cell                                                       knowledge of parts
                                Structure of plants                                          of cell. Skill in lab.
                                                                                                                Using microscope.
                                                                                                                Ability to write accurate
                                                                                                                Reports of scientific
Besides, the above-mentioned contributions of learning outcomes in the instruction process, there are certain other advantages of objectives.
Objectives help the teacher in the selection of certain subject matter.
Learning experiences/ activities are selected properly on the basis of learning outcomes.
Teacher can organize various types of activities keeping in view their possible contribution bringing about desirable changes in students behaviors.
Teacher can adopt various techniques in the classroom on the basis of achievements of objectives.
Evaluative procedures are directly linked with the objectives or desired goals.
Identifying Behavioral learning outcomes

                Objectives can be classified as either behavioral or non-behavioral. Behavioral objectives state how the student will behave as a result of instruction. The behaviors are an observable indication that learning has occurred. Examples of behavioral objectives/ learning outcomes are:
The student should be able to:
Identity symbols on a weather map
Describe the procedure to operate Microscope
Define the term energy for contrast,
Here are some non-behavioral objectives
The students should:
·                     Learn scientific names of common animals.
·                     Comprehend the concept of work.
·                     Know how to use the scientific method.
All of the above examples could be objectives for science lesson and they are all stated, in terms of learning results for student. In the first set the specific behaviors have been state, if the student can identify …. Describe…… and define. The second set is a little less clear as to how you will know whether or not the student has learned... Does comprehend... or does know. Are behavioral objectives better that non-behavioral? Here are some advantages and disadvantages of behavioral objectives.
Some of the advantages of behavioral objectives are:
·                     They help the teacher become more precise in his teaching.
·                     They clarify exactly what is expected.
·                     The teacher plans more carefully because he know what performance the students should display after finishing  a lesson, unit, or course of study.
·                     The teacher knows what materials are needed and is able to give more specific help to students in directing them to outside sources of information.
·                     They provide performance criteria for student achievements and accountability for the teacher.
·                     The teacher who prepares behavioral objectives finds them very helpful in evaluation. When preparing paper and pencil tests, the questions can be matched to the objectives and, by deciding on certain criteria of performance, questions can be phrased in such a way that the teacher has precise knowledge of the ability of the student to perform certain tasks.
Some disadvantages of behavioral objectives are
·                     They may tend towards an emphasis on trivial behaviors and ignore important objective4s that are too difficult to define behaviorally.
·                     They may inhibit the teacher’s spontaneity and flexibility.
·                     They may provide a precise measurement of less important behaviors, leaving more important, outcomes unevaluated.
·                     They may be used against teachers who are held accountable for the performance of students who do not learn.
·                     They tend to focus the teacher’s leaving the “Whole picture” unattended.
Importance of instructional objectives
·                     The teacher will have a method by which to measure, at least partially, important objectives not measured in the past.
·                     The teacher and the student will have greater visible evidence that the objectives have been achieved.
·                      The student will experience considerably more freedom in achieving an objective.
·                      The student will feel greater focus and direction on what is important, on what to study for, and on what he will be evaluated.
·                     In the long run, both the teacher and the student will save time and energy.
·                     The student will participate more in his own instruction.
·                     The teacher will feel greater security with this more direct evidence of “teaching effectiveness”

Criteria for determining the Appropriateness of instructional objectives
                The following questions determine the criteria as suggested by Clark.
·                     Does the instructional objective seem relevant to the student?
·                     Does the instructional objective itself provide any motivation for? Or is it at least attractive to the student?
·                     Is the instructional objective appropriate for the needs of the students?
·                     Will the objective be used frequently enough by the student to make its attainment worthwhile?
·                     Can the instructional objective be attained by the student within the time allotted?
·                     Prerequisites been adequately attained?
·                     Does the instructional objective specifically prescribe instructional experiences?
·                     Are facilities available for the attainment of the instructional objective?
·                     Is the instructional objective important enough to justify the staff time and money put in for its attainment?
·                     Can the instructional objective be modified of eliminated over times as it becomes more or less important?
·                     Can the instructional objective be evaluated satisfactorily?
·                     Is the instructional objective consistent with the teacher’s own personal values?
·                     Does the instructional objective appear to be consistent with the school’s philosophy of education? (1. pp27-35)

Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

                Taxonomy means to make group or classify. It is a scheme to put certain thing in a particular order. Taxonomy of educational objectives means to put the educational objectives in a particular order. It was first written by Blood B.S and other in 1956 to help teacher’s educationists and curriculum planners in developing a framework to improve learning. Objectives are placed in three classes, i.e. cognitive domain, psychomotor domain and affective domain. The cognitive domain involves knowledge and thinking ranging from simple recall to evaluation.
The psychomotor domain involves motor skills, sensory perception, responding and the development of complex kills in written, verbal and manual forms. The affective domain is reacted to feeling, attitudes, emotions and values of the learner.
A brief description of each of these classes in given below:
The cognitive Domain
                There are various levels of this domain.
·                     Knowledge: the first and lowest level of a cognitive domain, includes the recall of specifics (e.g. that ice is a form of water), structures (e.g. the name of bones in the human body), or scientific processes (e.g. that a control is an important part of an experiment). The knowledge level emphasizes what could be described as memory.
·                     Comprehension: the second level includes translation from one form to anther and interpretation. Examples would be: Drawing a graph of changes from a list of temperatures recorded over period to time, or explaining verbally what is meant by a statement that is expressed in mathematical symbols.
·                     Application: the third level involves breaking down an idea or set of ideas into its various parts and determining the relationship between the parts e.g. determining which statements about an experiment are facts and which are hypotheses, or which factors do and which do not, lead to an unexpected conclusion of an experiment.
·                     Synthesis: The fifth level includes taking parts and putting them together to get conclusion. Other examples would be formulation of a hypothesis to explain why some animals are less active in daytime than at night, and why water usually extinguishes fire.
·                     Evaluation: This, the highest of the size cognitive domains, includes making judgments. An example is the ability to state the drawbacks in analysis of an experiment: another is the ability to evaluate opinions beliefs about pollution, environment, population etc.
The affective Domain
                The second of the three domains in the taxonomy, the affective domain, includes what we commonly call attitudes, values, and appreciation, statements of these objectives usually include such phrases as “developing certain values”. “Stimulating interest”. Acquiring attitudes and developing an on appreciation of the role of various fields of studies in our world.
The affective domain consists of a hierarchy in which each category is more abstract and complex that the previous one.
Receiving: The first and lowest level of the affective domain includes an individual’s awareness of, and attention to, particular phenomena, or values, e.g. recognizing that there is not always sufficient evidence available for drawing a definite conclusion and thus, in accordance with the scientific approach, suspending judgment until sufficient evidence in available: or, on a somewhat deeper level, recognizing when someone is or is not following the practice of suspended judgment
Responding: The second level goes beyond simple’s awareness or attention in making some response to a stimulus or phenomenon. Many objectives concerning the development of interest fall into this category which includes reading about the subjects and engaging in various extracurricular projects or activities. The category extends from compliance with suggestions of engaging in such activates to more voluntary responses that are the result of satisfaction or pleasure experienced by those involved.
Valuing: The third level of the affective domain includes many objectives that have the characteristics of an attitude or belief. The behaviors or performances of the student have consistency or stability that indicates an internalization of and commitment to, certain ideas or values. Many objectives that include reference to development of scientific attitudes belong to this category.
Organization: The fourth level is the building of a system of values. At this level a value is conceptualized or understood in abstract, and conflicts between values are resolved and an interrelationship determined. An example would be verbalizing the value of the suspended judgment that was described in the previous level of the taxonomy and making judgments about the value of following such an approach as compared to forming judgments on the basis of evidence
The Psychomotor Domain
                The Psychomotor objectives are as important as cognitive and affective domain. Their objectives refer to certain manipulating skills that are vital in learning sciences, mathematics and other activity oriented subjects. Such skills are measurement, drawings, making diagrams, making observations, performing experimentation, handling apparatus, making graphs etc.
 A psychomotor domain includes physical manipulation and motor abilities. In skill development subjects, all the processes that are followed in learning lead to acquisition of mastery in one or the other skill. The following table illustrates the taxonomy briefly.   

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