Why Student Objectives are Important

By Lynette Molstad Gorder


      Student objectives are important because student objectives drive the standards, activities, and assessment that will complete the lesson. Student objectives are goals or targets that are specific and measurable that drives the  lesson  to be delivered by the teacher to the students.  Objectives are short, concise, and written with the phrase to start each objective ‘the student will….”.  This makes the objective student centered and not teacher-centered (Brown & Wiedmaier, 2003).

      Standards are based on the student objectives.  States have developed their own content standards with performance-based competencies.  Standards drive what is taught in the classroom for the content and grade level.  Educators and  administrators come together to determine what content and knowledge students must have before moving on to another topic, course, or grade level.  Teachers develop student objectives based on the content standards for their particular subject matter (Brown & Wiedmaier, 2003).

      Activities during the class start with an introduction or attention-getter and conclude with a closing activity.  Activities are ways for the teacher to deliver the information to the student engaging the student in the lesson.   The activities should be motivating, engaging, interactive, authentic, and skills-based.  In other words, the activity must be student-centered.   The teacher needs to provide activities that involve the student in the activity reinforcing previous and new concepts.  The student objectives are reinforced by the various activities the teachers plans for the lesson.  Students learn in different ways called learning styles.  The activities are designed to meet the various learning styles of the students.  Students want to have hands-on activities where they must do or complete an project or product.  The six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (knowledge, comprehension, application, synthesis, analysis, and evaluation) offer many sample verbs to be used for writing student objective that measure the various levels of skills taught in the classroom.  The main focus should be on strengthen the students’ critical thinking skills (Brown & Wiedmaier, 2003).

      Assessment is also determined by the student objectives because the assessment must measure the achievement of the student objectives.  Students have to demonstrate to the teacher that they have learned the knowledge or content set by the standards which the student objectives are based.  A variety of assessments can be used by the teachers from tests and projects to computer-based products.  Teachers can use rubrics to assess the products produced by the students showing achievement of the student objectives. 

      Teaching and learning is a process based on a well-developed lesson plan that includes student objectives which drive the activities and assessment.  The goals of a teacher are to develop lessons that provide for better retention of material and meaningful experiences in the classroom while addressing the different learning styles of the student in the classroom.  Student-centered is the focus of student objectives.


References:  Brown, H. & Wiedmaier, C (2003).  Planning for instruction.  Effective methods of  teaching business education in the 21st century.  Reston, VA:  National Business Education Association.