How do I write cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning objectives?

Answer

What is a learning objective?

A learning objective states what a student will learn by the end of a lesson or module.  It should include a measurable verb from the designated domain cognitive, affective, or psychomotor) and focus on the student.


What should I keep in mind when writing a learning objective?

A learning objective is not a list of what will be covered during a lesson.  If the lesson is one to two hours, you will want to write at least three learning objectives.  Three or more hours should have at least three to five objectives.


What do you mean by domain?

Learning can be divided into three domains:

  • Cognitive:  This is the most commonly used domain.  It deals with the intellectual side of learning.
  • Affective:  This domain includes objectives relating to interest, attitude, and values relating to learning the information.
  • Psychomotor:  This domain focuses on motor skills and actions that require physical coordination.

What verbs should I use for each domain?

Cognitive Affective Psychomotor

Remembering

  • Define
  • Duplicate
  • Draw
  • List
  • Label
  • Memorize
  • Name
  • Recall
  • Recite
  • Repeat
  • Reproduce
  • State

Understanding

  • Classify
  • Describe
  • Discuss
  • Explain
  • Identify
  • Locate
  • Recognize
  • Report
  • Select
  • Translate
  • Paraphrase
  • Visualize

Applying

  • Apply
  • Change
  • Choose
  • Construct
  • Demonstrate
  • Dramatize
  • Employ
  • Illustrate
  • Interpret 
  • Modify
  • Operate
  • Produce
  • Schedule
  • Sketch
  • Solve
  • Translate
  • Use
  • Write

Analyzing              

  • Categorize
  • Compare
  • Contrast
  • Deduce
  • Discriminate
  • Distinguish
  • Examine
  • Question
  • Separate
  • Test

Evaluating

  • Appraise
  • Argue
  • Decide
  • Critique
  • Criticize
  • Defend
  • Judge
  • Prioritize 
  • Rate
  • Rant
  • Select
  • Support
  • Value
  • Evaluate

Creating

  • Assemble
  • Construct
  • Create
  • Compose
  • Develop
  • Formulate
  • Invent
  • Originate
  • Write

Receiving (listening and being attentive)

  • Ask
  • Choose
  • Describe
  • Follow
  • Give
  • Hold
  • Identify
  • Locate
  • Name
  • Point to
  • Select
  • Sit
  • Erect
  • Reply
  • Use

Responding (active participation)

  • Answer
  • Assist
  • Comply
  • Conform
  • Discuss
  • Greet
  • Help
  • Label
  • Perform
  • Practice
  • Present
  • Read
  • Recite
  • Report
  • Select
  • Tell 
  • Write

Valuing (value attached to a subject)       

  • Complete
  • Describe
  • Differentiate
  • Explain
  • Follow
  • Forms
  • Initiate
  • Invite
  • Join
  • Justify
  • Propose
  • Read
  • Select
  • Share
  • Study
  • Work

Organization (beginning to build consistent value system)

  • Adhere
  • Alter
  • Arrange
  • Combine
  • Compare
  • Complete
  • Defend
  • Explain
  • Generalize
  • Identify
  • Integrate
  • Modify
  • Order
  • Organize
  • Relate
  • Synthesize

Characterization (value system controls behavior)

  • Act
  • Discriminate
  • Display
  • Influence
  • Listen
  • Modify
  • Performs
  • Practices
  • Propose
  • Qualify
  • Question
  • Revise
  • Serve
  • Solve
  • Use
  • Verify

 Imitation (learner imitates an action after a visual demonstration)

  • Align
  • Balance
  • Follow
  • Grasp
  • Hold
  • Place
  • Repeat
  • Rest
  • Step

Manipulation (performance of an action with written/verbal instructions)

  • Align
  • Balance
  • Follow
  • Grasp
  • Hold
  • Place
  • Repeat

Precision

  • Accurately
  • Errorlessly
  • Independently 
  • Proficiently
  • With balance
  • With control

Articulation (display of coordination of a series of related acts)

  • Confidence
  • Coordination
  • Harmony
  • Integration 
  • Proportion
  • Smoothness
  • Speed
  • Stability
  • Timing

Naturalization (high level of proficiency)

  • Automatically
  • Effortlessly
  • Naturally 
  • Professionally
  • Routinely
  • Spontaneously 
  • With ease
  • With perfection
  • With poise

 

References

Kretchmar, J. (2019). Affective domain. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.rasmussen.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=89164061&site=eds-live

Indiana University Bloomington. (n.d.). Learning taxonomy: Krathwohl's affective domain. https://global.indiana.edu/documents/Learning-Taxonomy-Affective.pdf

National Association of School Psychologists. (2016). Tips for writing effective learning objectives. Communique44(7), 23. https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.rasmussen.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=116597827&site=eds-live

University of Washington. (n.d.). Cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains grading.  http://courses.washington.edu/pharm439/Bloomstax.htm

Topics

  • Last Updated Mar 05, 2021
  • Views 332450
  • Answered By Kristie Keuntjes, Learning Services Coordinator

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 121 8

Comments (7)

  1. Your presentation is simple yet concise, easy to use and understand. Thank you very much this will be very helpful to us in school in LCC-Daet.
    by Elmer Milan on Dec 16, 2019
  2. Thank You! I am writing my first lesson plan for a graduate level elementary education class. Your article has me going in the right direction.
    by Cathy on Mar 27, 2020
  3. You answered my questions too! I am completing my BS in ECE and my current paper is on the Affective Domain. This sums it up beautifully! Thank you!
    by Yolanda Gordon on Jul 22, 2020
  4. Thank you. This more than what I have asked.
    by Chezer Dela Cruz on Sep 29, 2020
  5. Excellent answer. Thank you very much for taking the time to do that research and explain it so well.
    by Marcela on Aug 17, 2021
  6. Your explanation was clear and easy to use. It has been helping me a lot. Thanks
    by Chulu chishimba Kampemba on Sep 16, 2021
  7. Am delighted to see this unique response
    by Adejoh success iliasu on Jan 31, 2022