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What are the Differences Between Aims and Objectives?

Aims are general statements concerning the overall goals, ends or intentions
of teaching. Objectives are the individual stages that learners must achieve
on the way in order to reach these goals.
Example a teacher might have an aim that a learner should be able to save
work on a computer. To achieve this aim a series of objectives must be met.
eg to create a folder, navigate between menus, save a document.

Aims are general, objectives are specific.


There are more objectives than aims.
Aims are like strategy, objective are like tactics.

Aims and objectives can form hierarchical structures so that in complex


curricula aims at one level might be seen as objectives at another.

What are the main categories of learning objectives?


Learning objectives are aimed at the three domains of learning: knowledge,
skills and attitudes.

Why use learning objectives?


If you dont use objectives, how can you build in assessing of learning (what
would you assess?) and how can you measure if your teaching is being
effective and learners are learning? The objectives you set help you plan,
clarify and prioritise the learning.
How do you write aims and learning objectives?
What do you want your learners to be able to DO after they have learned
something that you have taught (bear in mind students may learn many
things with you but use judgment to focus on the most important outcomes at
this stage in their course)
So the aims and objectives for one possible teaching sequence might look like
the following:
Aims:
The learner can create a story sack for their child
Objectives:
1. Understands key learning points for young children
from creative play
2. Can list at least 5 suitable objects for story sacks

3. Can identify 3 sources of equipment for story sacks


4. Can explain how to make finger puppets from scratch
5. Can describe 2 methods for fastening material
Objectives do not include the word 'know' or 'understand'. They do include
active verbs such as 'state', 'explain', 'outline', 'list' or 'describe'. They are
statements of what you want your learners to do.
Examples of learning objectives verbs
The following lists contains examples of verbs which describe the sorts of
things you want your students to be able to do and may help you to write
useful learning objectives.
Knowledge
analyse
classify
describe
interpret
name
select
evaluate

arrange
compare
match
itemize
outline
solve
recognise

calculate
contrast
differentiate
label
plan
state

circle
compare
group
list
record
Give examples

cite
define
identify
match
revise

Skills
adjust
draw
interact
make

assemble
employ
locate
organise

chart
establish
maintain
rearrange

collect
illustrate
measure
return

practice

manipulate

master

fit

use
imitate
modify
set up
perfor
m

demonstrate
Attitudes
accept
challenge
evaluate
model
specify

adopt
characterise
formulate
persuade
value

advocate
choose
judge
recommend
reassure

approve
criticise
justify
resolve
empathise

Adapting learning objectives to be more, or less, challenging

assess
defend
manage
select

You can change the verbs to be more complex, or add conditions.


For example, simple objectives might be to list or state facts. More
challenging objectives might ask learners to apply or use knowledge in a
particular context. Higher levels of objectives ask learners to solve complex
problem. This might involve gathering information, researching and analysing,
or using knowledge to create something in a difference context (e.g. use
knowledge of making apple pie to design a different filling)
Labelling something already created, or choosing from options is less
challenging than creating your own list, or drawing your own diagram.
Objectives can be altered by degree e.g. demonstrating 5 ways to multiply 2
digit numbers is more challenging than modelling one way of multiplying.