The potential for learning increases drastically when lessons are driven by purposeful objectives. The objective specifies the desired outcome of the lesson. An objective driven lesson moves the attainment of information to the use of information.
The objective drives instruction. It is the outcome expected at the end of the lesson. What task do you expect the child to have the ability to perform at the end of the lesson? It is important to understand the difference between the objective of the lesson and tasks to be completed during the lesson. For instance, I would like for my home economic students to bake a cake for the bake contest. My objectives for this outcome are as follows:
The student will make a two layer cake without assistance.
The student will summarize the steps used to bake a cake.
The student will compare and contrast cakes of their peers.
At the end of the lesson, the student is expected to have the ability to independently bake a cake. Small steps will be completed in order to accomplish the overall objective. First, the ingredients would need to be obtained from the market. Next, the ingredients would need to be mixed in a bowl. Last, the mixed ingredients would be placed in the oven to bake. The objective of the lesson should not be confused with the activities needed to achieve the objective. The activities are merely smaller tasks.
According to Blooms Taxonomy, knowledge and comprehension are lower level skills. Prior learning can be utilized to spark an interest in learning about the ingredients and the process of baking a cake. Higher level thinking skills, such as Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation are incorporated into the lesson by allowing the student to apply knowledge learned by actually creating a cake, thinking through the process, analyzing other cakes, and evaluating the similarities and differences. The objective is used to pinpoint a desired outcome. The creativity of the lesson or knowledge obtained is not limited to the objectives or desired outcome of the lesson.
The assessment of the expected outcome can be used to guide the development of the objective. It is important to keep in mind ways to assess learning outcomes. The performance of the student should reflect the knowledge obtained through the process of learning.
The objective driven lesson provides an opportunity to focus on particular needs of the student. Students with learning disabilities can benefit from a written and oral statement of the objective for the lesson. The ability to see and hear the objective will provide a purpose for completing the smaller tasks needed to accomplish the outcome. Positive feedback in the form of a simple assessment or rubric can be used to assess and adjust instruction according to the needs of the student. Small successes build pride and a sense of accomplishment for students that may not always experience successful situations in the classroom.