Most people think that writing objectives is the first step of any content design process. And generally it is. Crafting objectives, selecting content that ties to them, and writing an assessment to evaluate the objectives is a very logical work flow.

However, occasions arise when you just can’t get the objectives right. You’re stuck. Now what? This is when I like to do what I’d term as “writing objectives in reverse”. I start with the evaluation. For some reason, you can always write test questions, but objectives tend to offer the occasional headache. So start with the assessment.

By starting with the assessment, you’re isolating the key points of the content. Write enough questions, and you’re bound to see themes emerging. Those themes are your objectives. Just add some of Bloom’s verbs in front, and make sure you are specifying how you’re measuring them, and you’re done.

This is even easier when your assessment is an assignment (i.e. not a test). Your assignment is the evaluation portion of the objective. Now you just specify the reference to the content, add a verb in front, and that’s it.

So if you’re finding yourself in an objective rut, try trying the process in reverse.

Evaluation > Content > Objectives

Note: There are a lot of Bloom verb lists out there. Just Google. Here are a few to start.


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