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Writing Performance Objectives




Performance objectives (also called behavioral objectives) indicate what the learner will be able to do as a result of an instructional event (which may include teacher-led instruction, collaborative group work, guided practice, etc.). You may notice that this sets up a tension with the focus on learning theories, especially with the emphasis on the cognitivist-constructivist perspective of learning. The problem is, of course, is that we cannot observe learning (that is, what is going on in the mind); we can only observe behaviors.

So why all this fuss about cognition, when ultimately we have to have an element of behaviorism in our classrooms? I think that the value of approaching our teaching from a constructivist vantage point is that our increased understanding of the learner will help us to write more focused, targeted objectives (and consequently design instruction) that considers the needs and perspectives of our students.


  1. Review the basic components of the performance objective.
  2. Complete the Objectives Exercise handout.

See the Resources page for additional information relating to today's topics.

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery

Word document that collects several resources on writing objectives using Bloom's Taxonomy

Writing Performance Objectives

Writing Learning Objectives from the University of Tennessee (incorporates Bloom's Taxonomy)

A job aid for writing performance objecives