Writing Good Objectives

If you want a PDF of this, click this link: M4WG Writing Good Objectives

An objective is a description of a performance you want learners to be able to exhibit before you consider them competent.  In other words: what should students be able to do when they are done with your course?

Clear objectives are important because they:

  1. let the students know what they’ll be able to do by the end of the course
  2. help instructors pick material to best achieve that learning goal, and
  3. give evaluators something to measure the success of their instruction.

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Not Another Boring Lecture

Stacey Poznanski, Chris Chapman, Sally Stanten, Meg Wolff
CGEA 2013 – Cincinnati, Ohio

Normal lectures with a power point presentation full of bullet points does not lead to long term retention. We need to start with the acknowledgement of this fact. This inefficaciousness begs us to do something differently. We can still use the lecture format, but need to to make it more effective. If we can incorporate some of the higher order activities in the pyramid: demonstrations, discussions, practice and even teaching into our didactic sessions we can improve the efficacy of our sessions, making the time spent more worthwhile for students and teachers. Continue reading “Not Another Boring Lecture”


radiolab_logoA recent(-ly rebroadcast) of one of my favorite podcasts, Radiolab, talked about the concept of emergence. They started with the example of fireflies on miles of riverbank in Thailand all flashing in unison. There is no conductor, they just somehow do it. Similarly, individually blind and thoughtless ants together spontaneously organize to create feats of insect engineering. And bees. And the electrical activity of individual neurons coalescing into thoughts. Continue reading “Emergence”