"Instruction is effective to the degree that it succeeds in:
- changing students
- in desired directions
- and not in undesired directions" (p. 1).
Objectives are: related to outcomes (not processes), specific and measurable, concerned with the learner (not the instructor). Objectives must be related to outcomes rather than processes. An outcome is an action the learner perform to demonstrate that the knowledge has been acquired. A process is the formation of an attitude or principle that is not measurable. Objectives should be specific and measurable... so that we can measure the specific intended result of the instruction. In this instance, instructors should focus on overt behaviors and avoid the covert. Makes sense, eh? Lastly, objectives should be concerned with the learner and not the instructor. Objectives are for the learner, so that they know what is expected of them. Learners don't care what the teacher hopes to be able to achieve.
Objectives sometimes require a condition. Conditions specify the environment or tools the learner will or will not possess while performing the designated overt behavior. A degree refers to the acceptable performance, as denoted by the instructor for mastery of the objective.
As I previously stated, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mager. I was an individual who formerly did not pay attention to objectives. I would read through a syllabus and completely skip the objectives section. I did not understand them and did not know how exactly they applied to me. If a learner is aware of the objectives, their participation may change because they know exactly what the intended outcomes of the course are. Overall, I found the reading helpful in determining if an objective is measurable or useless.
Mager, R.F. (1997). Preparing instructional objectives: A critical tool in the development of effective instruction.