Writing Behavioral Objectives

What is a Behavioral Objective?

An objective is a clear and unambiguous description of your educational expectations for students.

When written in behavioral terms, an objective will include three components: student behavior, conditions of performance, and performance criteria.

When writing or creating these objectives, you must consider the following three parts:

  1. Student Behavior — skill or knowledge to be gained (e.g., two digit numbers, vocabulary words) and the action or skill the student is able TO DO (e.g., define, count, label, categorize, analyze, design, evaluate, add, multiply, etc.).
  2. Conditions of Performance — under what circumstances or context will the behavior be performed.
  3. Performance Criteria — how well is the behavior is to done; compared to what standard · An objective is a clear and unambiguous description of your educational expectations for students. When written in behavioral terms, an objective will include three components: student behavior, conditions of performance, and performance criteria.

An example of a well-written behavioral objective:

  • In an oral presentation, the student will paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther Kings’s I Have a Dream address, mentioning at least 3 of the 5 major points discussed in class.

Behavioral objectives can be written for any of the domains of instruction (i.e., cognitive, affective, or psychomotor.)

Excellent resources:
· Kizlik, B. (2002). How to write behavioral objectives. Boca Raton, FL: Adprima. Retrieved: September 2002. [http://www.adprima.com/objectives.htm]

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