Using the Correct Action Verb for Learning Objectives

understand photo

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom and other educators met  for a second time (the first time was in 1948) at the Convention of the American Psychological Association, where Bloom spearheaded a group to discuss classifying educational goals and objectives. This framework became know as the Taxonomy of Three Domains.

Focusing on the cognitive domain, Bloom developed a multilevel model as a means of classifying thinking based on six levels of cognition. Robert Mager, an educational psychologist would later develop and use learning objectives as a means to describe what the learner is expected to achieve. According to Mager, the learning objectives should include a measurable verb.

All too often, I have either come across or attended a training where the learning objective in the course used verbs that are difficult to measure. Such as:

  • appreciate
  • know
  • learn
  • understand (my favorite)

These verbs are vague and are difficult to measure learning. I included a PDF on action words that can be used when writing learning objectives.

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download here

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