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Components of a useful objective:

Many words are open to misinterpretation. "Fuzzies" are terms that are too broad to be clearly understood by the reader. It is necessary to communicate an objective in the most effective manner possible to avoid misinterpretation.

A useful objective successfully communicates an intended instructional result to the reader by successfully communicating your intent. The BEST statement is the one that excludes the greatest number of possible meanings other than your intent. In other words, it succeeds in communicating your intent of instruction yet avoids misinterpretation.

The format known to work for stating clear objectives includes four characteristics that help an objective communicate an intent. These characteristics answers four questions:

An easy way to remember these components is to use the acronym: ABCD

The learners
Identify who it is that will be doing the performance (not the instructor)

Behavior (Performance)
What the learner will be able to do
Make sure it is something that can be seen or heard


State the conditions you will impose when learners are demonstrating their mastery of the objective.
What will the learners be allowed to use?
What won't the learners be allowed to use?
Under what conditions must the mastery of skill occur?

(or criterion)
A degree/criterion is the standard by which performance is evaluated. The communication power of an objective increases when you tell the learners HOW WELL the behavior must be done. Focus on answering the question, "What's good enough?"
Common degrees include:

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Under the direction of: Donn C. Ritchie

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All contents copyright (C) 1996, SDSU. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 9,1996 by D Lewis