2.1.3 Kinds of Objectives:

Objectives can be written for any type of learning. The question of writing goals and objectives became clearer when the three domains of learning cognitive, affective, and psychomotor were established. A common way to categorize learning is by the domain in which it occurs. The three domains and ensuing type of objectives include:

Cognitive: (thought or knowledge, mental skills, intellectual capability:thinking)

“What the student is able to do” (an observable)

Affective: (feelings or choices, emotions, behavior: attitude)

“How the student chooses to act”

Psychomotor: (physical skills, manual and physical skills: skills, doing)

“What the student can perform”

Teachers tend to look at this taxonomy of learning behaviors as the goals of teaching, which means that the goal of our work is for the learner to acquire new skills, knowledge, and/or attitudes. Other systems and hierarchies have been developed, but Bloom’s taxonomy is easily understood and is probably the most widely applied one in use today.

Knowing Bloom’s Taxonomy allows us to ask-specific questions in order to test different categories of our students’ intellectual skills. The Taxonomy helps us organize our questions into different levels of cognition. However, research has shown that teachers tend to rely too much on knowledge-based questions only and do not explore, other categories of the cognitive domain frequently enough.

Cognitive Domain (Bloom 1956)

The cognitive domain involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. Listed below are the six major categories in this domain. They start with the simplest – stating and recalling facts – and proceed to the most complex – assessing and appraising. These categories are often described as varying degrees of difficulty. In other words, they have to be mastered one after the other, not at the same time.


Remembering or retrieving previously learned material. At knowledge level of learning a student can define terms. Examples of verbs that relate to this function are:

    Example: list the capitals of each state.

    2. Comprehension:

    The ability to grasp or construct meaning from material. At comprehension level of learning a student can work assigned problems and can example what they did

    Examples of verbs that relate to this function are:

    Example: How would you illustrate photosynthesis?

    3. Application:

    The ability to use learned material, or to implement material in new and concrete situations. At application level of learning a student recognizes what methods to use and then use the methods to solveproblems

    Examples of verbs that relate to this function are:

    Example: Can you think of another instance where you could use this formula?

    4. Analysis:

    The ability to break down or distinguish the parts of material into its components so that its organizational structure may be better understood. At analysis level of learning a student can explain why the solution process works

    Examples of verbs that relate to this function are:

    Example: analyze the underlying theme of this novel?

    5. Synthesis:

    The ability to put parts together to form a coherent or unique new whole. At synthesis level of learning a student can combine the par of a process in new and useful ways

    Examples of verbs that relate to this function are:

    Example: Create a new product for teenagers and plan a marketing campaign for it.

    6. Evaluation:

    The ability to judge, check, and even critique the value of material for a given purpose. At evaluation level of learning a student can create a variety of ways to solve the problem and then, based on established criteria, select the solution method best suited for the problem.

    Examples of verbs that relate to this function are:

    Example: Which poem did you like the best?

    Affective Domain (Krathwhol, Bloom, and Masia)This domain focuses on feelings, values, and attitudes. Affective learning is demonstrated by behaviors indicating attitudes of awareness, interest attention, concern, responsibility, and ability to listen to and respond in nteractions with others.

    This refers to emotions, attitudes, appreciation, and values, such a enjoys”. “conserves”, “respects”, or “supports”. The five majo ategories in this domain are listed below starting with the simplest an nding with the most complex.

    The levels in the affective domain are:

    • Receiving: paying attention to phenomena and stimuli. Example: to listen attentively and with an open mind to t ideas of others.
    • Responding: reacting to or using that which is received.Example: to cooperate with others in group work
    • Valuing: identifying and committing to particular beliefs. Example: to act in ways which enhance physical health
    • Organization: establishing a set of values
    • Characterization: acting on and displaying values Example: to campaign for human rights through communications to political leaders, speaking out at local forums, etc.

    Psychomotor Domain (Simpson, 1972) Psychomotor learning is demonstrated by physical skills, coordination,

    dexterity, manipulation, strength, speed, etc.; actions which demonstrate the fine motor skills, such as use of precision instruments and tools, or actions with evidence of gross motor skills, such as the use of the body in dance or athletic performance. Verbs that apply here include bend, grasp, handle, operate, reach, write, and perform.The levels in the psychomotor domain are:

    • Perception: Example: to differentiate different foods by their odors
    • Preparation/Set Example: to demonstrate knowledge of rules of a sport
    • Orientation/Guided Response Example: to manipulate objects on the basis of directions
    • Pattern/mechanism Example: to construct a model of a building
    • Performance/complex overt response Example: the student will operate a VCR
    • Adaptation Example: to change running form to gain more speed
    • Origination
      Example: to create an original game requiring physical movements.

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