In the lesson planning process teachers develop learning objectives. These objectives may be established as part of the curriculum, curriculum map, or unit plan. A lesson objective is not what the instructor or students will be doing. It is the skills, knowledge, or attitudes that the students will achieve. An objective is a clear statement that describes what the students will be able to do or know at the end of a specific lesson. The components of an effective objective are:
1. What do you expect the students to perform.
2. Under what conditions will they achieve this knowledge or skill.
3. What criteria will be used to evaluate achievement.
While the development of objectives are a vital component of a written unit or lesson plan they are equally as important to be communicated at the start of a lesson. When you begin each lesson by stating the learning objective you provide students with a framework for the period. When students are aware of the knowledge and skills that they are expected to achieve at the end of a lesson they can self-assess their progress towards the objective. Students may also activate prior knowledge or previous connections that will help them successfully achieve the goal.
Writing the objective on the board or smartboard is a great start, but a short conversation about the learning goal will help ensure student awareness regarding the goal.