Writing Objectives

How to Write Measurable Learning Objectives

What is a Learning Objective?

A Learning Objective describes a task that students should be able to complete after a unit or lesson of instruction. It does not state what the instructor does, but rather what the students will be able to do. In comparison to goal statements, objectives are more narrow and specific to the actions performed by students.


  • contain specific and measurable verbs
  • describe what learners will be able to perform at the end of an instructional activity
  • support the course goals
  • clarify how an instructor will measure if students have achieved the goals

What are the benefits of writing learning objectives?

Objectives provide the instructor with a framework for developing assessments, rubrics, activities, instruction, and evaluating the effectiveness of the course.

4 Parts of Objectives

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Step 1: Identify the Audience

Identify who will perform the action. The objectives should describe what the students will do, not the instructor.
Click the picture on the right for an example -->

  • students
  • learners
  • the group
  • the committee

Step 2: Select the Behavior

Objectives must contain an action verb that can be demonstrated and measured action. What skill will students demonstrate after the given instruction or activity?

Poor Verbs:

  • students will understand
  • students will learn
  • students will know

Good Verbs:

  • students will identify
  • students will write
  • students will analyze
  • students will create
  • students will compare

Use Bloom's Taxonomy action verbs and categories to design your activities starting with lower level thinking skills such as basic recall and identification then throughout the course work up to higher level thinking skills such as synthesis and evaluation.

Click Here for a handout with Bloom's Taxonomy Action Verbs.

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Step 3: Add the Condition

What equipment, tools, instruction, activity, or conditions will be given and utilized in the completion of the behavior?

Example Conditions:
  • Given the equipment
  • Given the handout
  • Given the reference manual
  • At the conclusion of the unit
  • At the end of the project
  • After instruction
  • Without the aid of materials

Step 4: State the Degree

State the standard for acceptable performance. When you measure the performance of the behavior, what determines grade A quality work. The degree can be measured in time, accuracy, proportion, quality and quantity.

Example Degrees:
  • without error
  • correctly
  • with 100% accuracy
  • 9 out of 10
  • at least three
  • within 5 minutes

Objective Builder

Select one item from each category to build an ABCD objective.
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