Module 2 Goals of the Course

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Learning Objectives for Goals

By the end of this lesson the teacher will be able to:
  1. Describe different types of learners
  2. Describe different levels of learning
  3. List the various types of goals
  4. Define the audience, behavior, condition and degree of involvement for each type of goal
  5. Explain techniques for writing goals


Think about football. The ultimate goal is winning. The incremental goal is scoring. The learning objectives are the combination of tasks to figure out the other team in order to advance 10 yards without losing control of the ball.

For our purposes, the Course Goals is when we win and the student has taken control of all the learning. The incremental goals when 10 yards advance makes a First Down again, these are the Modules or Units of study. The learning objectives are the combination of knowledge and skill that the student has to figure out in order to take control of the learning, or in the case of football to figure out how to beat the other team.

Learning refers to knowledge and skills and the step-by-step process of mastering information and performance. If you were to determining a course map, then you would see the steps from one task to the next all the way to the course goal. If you forget any knowledge or performance skills, which the student needs for success, then those missing tasks are what are referred to as “Learning Gaps”.

Whenever we need to learn something, we first need to know what the purpose is, or goal; then we study, try out some new skills as our first attempts at learning it. Eventually our attitude changes from being a novice to beginning to get used to the new skills, and with time, more knowledge and practice we finally begin to believe in ourselves that we can actually achieve the goal.
There are many considerations when writing goals. The goals cannot be written without realizing the student has to handle the achievement of those goals. They need to be written in a manner to include all sorts of learners.


  • Define the core components of the course and the ultimate training goal.
  • Determine the content and scope of the course
  • Design of delivery of the content of the course in relation to the incoming students
  • Consider what type of material you are teaching.

Performance and practical skill development

  • What kind of environment is needed to do the course?
  • What values, attitudes, are expected by the course?
  • What is the theoretical context for your course: Is it appropriate for online learning?
  • What are you assuming that the students would know at the start of the course?
  • Consider the students you intend to train.
  • What kind of time constrains are they facing to study?
  • What kind of special instructions or references will support their learning?
  • How do you want them to communicate about the subject?

Goal writing means considering a lot of things that hone down the detail of activity to learn the course.

1. Perception: Intellectual integration of new sensory information with the memory and then there is a decision to move. This skill :partly depends on good eyes, ears, nose, for the information to be useful and sharp memory and intelligence to make sense out of it.

2. Preparation: On your mark, get set, ready, GO! This is considering how the person prepares to do something. The student would have :to describe how to go about the task or objective.

3. Guided Response: Here the student needs to explain the various results that will result from doing the task.

4. Mechanism: Is the ability to demonstrate confidence and perform the task in a proficient manner

5. Complex Overt Response: Is when the student is able to do the task without uncertainty or pause, able to relate it to other :objectives, and has the perspective for quicker movement.

6. Adaptation: Here the student can modify actions to account for new or problematic situations.

7. Organization: The student can organize, analyze and incorporate newly learned skills into new projects, like learning how to do :your own taxes.

Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

Time for a little bit of theory. Perhaps you are familiar with the work of Benjamin Bloom who developed three types of educational objectives to categorize when designing a course. The idea of classifying different types of goals was to establish clearer assessment criteria.

The three so called “Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives” are:

1. The knowledge-based goals
2. The skills-based goals
3. The affective goals
Each of these types of goals has an order of increasing complexity for the learning skills. The measurable learning outcomes produce results for an increasing level of complexity from simple to more sophisticated learning done through classroom activities and teaching strategies.

Some examples of Bloom's Theory

  • At the end of this course, the person will be able to perform proper dental hygiene. This is a knowledge-based goal, because it requires that the student learn certain facts and concepts that will guide the actions.
  • An example of a skills-based goal would then be: Person flosses teeth properly" this is the person learning how to do something.”
  • Goals that are affective would be: “person cares about proper oral hygiene", the skills requiring a person’s values, attitudes, or interests that are the desired outcomes achieved during the course.

Affective Goals

Consider how the students learning is influencing the attitudes, beliefs and how the new know ledge and skills are impacting their lives.
  • Receiving- student demonstrates a willingness to participate, showing motivation to learn.
  • Responding- the student expresses interest in the subject while performing the tasks and do whatever it takes to meet the :learning objectives and assignments.
  • Valuing- the student shows an appreciation for the value of learning and participating.
  • Organization- the student shows an ability to compare different values, resolve conflicts, and form a consistent :understanding and expression of values in preserving the learning.
  • Characterization – the students understands the appropriate range of application of the new knowledge and demonstrates :respect for others in developing more understanding of integrating all the learning and the communication and personal skills.

Levels of Learning

Each Level of Learning has Knowledge-based goals, Skill-based goals, and Affective goals

Basic Knowledge:

Using all the senses to build an encyclopedia of reference for learning more. Recall is based on memory and memory is built with experience. Young children hold things close to their eyes, put things in their mouths, rub things on their skin, and listen tilting their heads. Over the years we learning to climb, ride a bike and so on building memories and a library for reference when we will learn new things.

Comprehension of Basic Relationships, Processes, Components of a Situation:

It is one thing to know all the supplies and tools used to build a house. It is another to understand how different house are built. Consider the moon and the stars, but what about the seasons and the moon revolving around the Earth and the Earth revolving around the Sun and our Solar System moving in the Milky Way Galaxy. That is quite a relationship!

Application of Comprehension

What would Earth's seasons be like if its orbit was perfectly circular? Why does the moon grow full and go dark? How far do we travel in 24 hours on our way around the sun? Which buildings would easily collapse during an Earthquake?

Analysis of Applications

Why are seasons reversed in the southern hemisphere? Are there patterns to history? What are the various satellites finding and how is it useful for us to know what’s on Mars or the chemical composition of Saturn’s rings?

Synthesis of Analysis

Take 5 books on the same subject and extrapolate one overview of the subject. Take a bunch of facts, theories and philosophies and design a course. Take everything you have learned and explain it in 5 pages.


Is the original knowledge correct, up to date, and refined? How do I go about comprehending, what kind of evaluations are necessary? What is missing from the management plan? Is the budget designed to cover all the needs of the project?

Multiple Intelligence

You might not like dancing, or you feel uncomfortable in a group. The point is that as a teacher, you need to know what kind of learner you are, because you will automatically feel comfortable with people who learn in the manner that you do. This is as true for you as for the students. Howard Gardner of Harvard University proposed in his book: Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence in the Classroom that there are seven basic types of learning. Of Gardner's seven, only two of Gardner's Intelligence, namely Verbal/Linguistic and Logistical/Mathematical are taught in most of today's classrooms, however, Gardner pointed out that people actually use all kinds of intelligence to learn.

Linguistic Intelligence

These students like to read a lot and articulate the language of the subject. They are the best at learning languages and remember names. They love word games, and brainstorming a list on the board. They like to literalize information by articulating meaning with exact language. They learn linguistically.

Logistical/Mathematical Intelligence

These students like to calculate the strength of something and define the structure. They might want to quantify just how much reading is necessary for a basic understanding. They want to know how things work. Also, these students are the ones doing anything with measuring, timing, or logistics. They are the ones who are most likely to ask about finances and book costs and stuff like that. They learn by logic and mathematical relationships.

Visual/ Spatial Intelligence

These students like color, graphs, outlines, even brain maps. They learn spatially, by visualization of process as though it is a scene along a river or view from a mountain. They want to draw cycles, and sketch ideas. They will be the most artistically descriptive in their homework, but they will explain process before they would articulate the exact language. For example, they would love to know how a given patient moves or peculiar facial features. They learn visually.

Physical/Kinesthetic Intelligence

These are the students who like to get up and move. They love role-plays, mimic, and enjoy it when asked to put the desks in a circle. They are physical and active, jostling their books like they are toys. They want to open their books and flip the pages. They want you to move around, so don't just stand there and talk, teachers should move around the room for students like this. Such students need to move in order to learn.

Musical Intelligence

Have you ever heard of the Mozart Effect? Try reading to a 4/4 tempo from classical music of Mozart, Brahms, Handel, or Bach. They learn rhythmically, tonally, and are very aware of your tone of voice, or the grunts and groans.

Intelligence for Social Relationships

Such students love to work in groups. They love to discuss one issue at a time and give everyone a chance to contribute. They want the life stories, case histories, knowledge exchange between professionals. They learn best with others.

Self-Motivation Intelligence

These types of people want to learn alone. Independent learning is wonderful, but these students are more reluctant to join in, often quiet offering few words, and reluctant to do role plays, or group discussions. These students contribute more after they have had adequate time to learn on their own.

Consider these different types of learners in a simpler way. For example there are students who love to read and do best when the assigned readings offer enough depth about the subject. The students who like to listen will want a lecture or a video to listen to. Those who talk to learn benefit from discussions.

So part of configuring the goals, is to write then to meet these types of learners

  • Read about the subject
  • Talk about the subject
  • Write about the subject.
  • Have the students draw a brain map of the subject

In the next Module Three we look at what happens when we take goals apart…..


Akyol, Z., Garrison, D.R.(2011). Assessing metacognition in an online community of inquiry.

Internet and Higher Education, 14: 183–190

Videos Bruce Montes, A look at how we analyze, categorize, and diagram our goals in the analysis phase of instructional design.

Discussion Questions

1. What are ways that you can identify the types of learners the students are?
2. How can classes accommodate different types of learner in meeting course goals?

Journal Questions

1. Does the student need to learn about an object?
2. Does the student need to learn about a process?
3. Does the student need to learn about a condition?