Key Concept Map
Objectives-Based Process Model
Bloom, B (1971): Handbook of formative and summative evaluation of student learning. New York McGraw-Hill
Davies, I (1975) Writing general objectives and writing specific objectives. In Curriculum Design (1975) edited by Golby, M et al Open University Books
- Content is usually selected on a vocational basis and is concerned with what the learner 'needs to know' in order to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.
Learning Outcomes (Ends):
- Learning outcomes are specified in terms of what the learners will be capable of doing at the end of the course of instruction. Objectives are written with increasing levels of specificity (Davies 1975) and by so doing broad aims and goals are 'operationalised'. Key concepts, criteria and procedures are also specified.
Learning Activities (Means to Ends):
- By employing hierarchies of objectives, notably Bloom's Taxonomy (Bloom 1956), learning activities can be designed to match the appropriate objectives. e.g. comprehending, applying, analysing and so on, starting with lower order objectives and moving to increasing levels of complexity. It is up to the teacher to devise learning outcomes together with appropriate learning activities for the students. For this reason the Objectives model is often associated with an authoritarian view of learning which is instrumental and concerned with techniques.
- This model of curriculum would claim to lend itself to an objective model of assessment where learning outcomes having been clearly specified can be easily tested. The failure of students to achieve a given set of objectives is seen as the responsibility of the curriculum planner and the teacher. In its purest form, the curriculum is first put through a testing process with a sample of 'typical' students. Modifications are then made to the objectives and to the teaching methods as a result of this process of feedback. In some extreme examples of the Objectives model, notably the Keller Plan, students work at their own pace and are required to achieve 'mastery' of one set of objectives before they move on to the next.
- The Objectives model is usually associated with curriculum design in the field of vocational training. It has been pointed out elsewhere that the 'reproductive' end of the Skills Schema is often associated with the 'knowledge, comprehension and application' which are essential prerequisites for higher order problem solving activities. It follows, therefore, that a careful analysis of existing curricula in higher education will often reveal 'training' elements that would benefit from the careful planning required to implement the objectives model.