What Are Some Sample Learning Objectives?


Quick Answer

A sample of a learning objective for a math lesson may include statements such as, "Students will be able to discuss, interpret, and ascribe meaning to the following set of data." A learning objective for a science lesson is, "Students will be able to create a visual representation of the water cycle." Learning objectives should be outcome statements that describe what students should know or be able to do after a lesson is completed.

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The most effective learning objectives are not too ambiguous or broad, but are also not too specific or narrow. Most often, starting out with a broad goal and narrowing the expectations down as the lesson forms is a good way to develop a learning objective. Learning objectives should always focus on student performance, not on educator action. For example, "My plan this morning is to talk about..." is not an effective way to set up a learning objective. It should instead state something similar to, "After I talk about [...], students should be able to..."

A common acronym for forming learning objectives is S.M.A.R.T. The S.M.A.R.T learning objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and results-oriented, and time-focused. The objective, "By March 15th, I will develop, duplicate, distribute, pick up, evaluate, and report on a customer survey relating to my company‘s advertising" excels in all these categories. It has specific, relevant, reasonable details throughout, with the report being used as a way to measure completion, and the date of March 15th giving a time frame.

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