Borich Chapter 3, (reading Reflection #3, due 7/28)

The main sections of this chapter are:

  • Goals, Standards and Objectives
  • Steps in Preparing Behavioral Objectives
  • The Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor Domains
  • Some Misunderstandings about Objectives
  • The Cultural Roots of Objectives

As I read about setting objectives, I think I could definitely use some more practice.  So let me experiment with a topic which I think is key to students in physics, the skill of drawing a Free-Body-Diagram.  There are numerous web resources about applying this skill, and it is essentially to solving almost any problem in classical dynamics in physics.  And it can be fun!

And here are some objectives I could write from a lesson plan around kinetics/kinematics.

Students will be able to attack inclined plane problems by drawing a free body diagram which will enable them to write Newton’s second law in vector form, solving for forces or accelerations in the problem.

That’s good for a first start, but any body can be cut free and random forces applied and you can get a vector equation.  The real trick comes in resolving the forces into simplest representations due to physical constraints, or assuming such constraints if they are not given so that a problem becomes more tractable.  Maybe I should go back one step.

Students will be able to convert a word problem into a drawing which accurately represents the situation described.

Students will be then able to draw a free-body-diagram  appropriate to the situation described and label it with forces that they will use to solve the problem.

Students will be able to solve simple word problems, using F=ma and by drawing and labeling an appropriate free-body-diagram for the problem.

Now I can evaluate these objectives according to instructions in (Borich, 2011).  Will I be able to assess these objectives in formative and summative ways?  Will I be able to assess them in a graduated way, i.e. the proficiency level of met, exceeded, not met?  Will I be able to rank these objectives as far as complexity?  Are these objectives in the cognitive, affective or psychomotor domains?

I also was really intrigued by the misunderstandings about behavioral objectives that Borich (2011) describes in this chapter.  I will have to keep my eyes open for those common misunderstandings.



Borich, G. D. (2011) . Effective teaching methods: Research-based practice. (7th ed.).  Allyn & Bacon.

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  • tskennedy  On July 31, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I like that you included examples of what you are thinking about implementing in the classroom as you read these chapters. I find that I am constantly getting sidetracked thinking about how I can use key concepts. There is definitely value in this. I also was interested by the misunderstandings about behavioral objectives, definitely seem good to look out for.

  • amyvaughn  On August 8, 2011 at 4:49 am

    I love the use of the verb “attack” in your first sample objective! I’m pretty sure this is not on Bloom’s list, ha!

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