7 reasons: Why we need to kill boring ‘learning objectives’!

Donald Clark, Donald Clark Plan B, Mar 24, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm not really a fan of learning objectives either. For the record, here are Clark's seven reasons:

  • Objectives make a poor first impression
  • Stating objectives defers learner engagement
  • They also cause people to stop paying attention
  • They are a misapplication of Gagne
  • The rule that objectives must be stated is overly prescriptive
  • It's difficult to write good objectives, and few master it
  • Stating them is a waste of time

From my reading, these sever objections are really just one objection stated over and over. And an even more important point, to my mind, is that different people have different objectives. It takes a lot of presumption on the part of the teacher to state their objectives.


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