Writing Objectives and Learning Goals

Writing Objectives and Learning Goals

Standard: Refers to state content and specialized professional association (SPA) standards, which help teachers determine the learning goals. Learning Goal (broad and general):Each unit plan will begin with a learning goal that determines the unit’s purpose, aim, and rationale. The learning goals that teacher candidates write must align to the state and/or SPA curriculum standards. In order to develop solid learning goals, consider the following questions: What are the goals for the unit? What is expected of the student by the end of the unit? Learning Objectives: (defined measurable outcomes): A statement of a specific desired outcome that is clear and measureable. Learning objectives must contain details about how students will demonstrate their understanding. Focus is solely on student outcomes or what the student should be able to demonstrate by the end of the lesson.

Figure 7.2 Alignment of Learning Goals

Table 7.3 Bloom’s Taxonomy

Remembering Understanding Applying Analyzing Evaluating Creating
Define Classify Apply Compare Argue Construct
Identify Indicate Examine Contrast Critique Design
List Match Generalize Differentiate Defend Formulate
State Select Illustrate Discriminate Evaluate Hypothesize
Reproduce Summarize Record Examine Judge Plan

When writing a learning objective, it is important to utilize the correct verbs for the different categories.

Table 7.5 Verbs and Categories

Category Common Verbs
Verbal Information State, recite, tell, declare, name, list, define
Intellectual Skills: Concrete Concepts Identify, label
Intellectual Skills: Defined Concepts Classify instances, sort, categorize
Intellectual Skills: Rules Solve, show, demonstrate, generate, develop, create, determine, calculate, predict
Intellectual Skills: Higher order Rules (Problem Solving) Solve, show, demonstrate, generate, develop, create, determine, calculate, predict, defend, support
Motor Skills Execute, perform, swim, walk, run, climb, drill, saw, assemble, build
Attitudes Choose, decide, participate

Learning objectives should utilize verbs to describe how students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the skills and content outlined in the standards. Below are some guiding questions to help write learning objectives:

  • What knowledge and skills are students learning during this lesson?
  • What performances will students complete to demonstrate their new knowledge and skills?
  • How will students be assessed to determine if they have mastered the objectives?
TSWBAT (The Student Will Be Able To) Learning Objective TSWBAT identify the noun, verb, and adjective of the sentence and defines each part of speech.


  • When completing a lab experiment, students will be able to describe, analyze, and explain their experiment and the results on the Lab Template using correct grammar and topic-relevant vocabulary.
  • Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
  • Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claim.

Grand Canyon University. (Ed.). (2016). Teaching with a Purpose: Learning, Leading, Serving (2nd ed.).

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