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Better Objectives, Better Course

By Star Boe, Senior Instructional Design Specialist  Objectives can go by many names. Learning Objectives, Outcomes, Learning Outcomes, Student Learning Objectives (SLO), Student Learning Outcomes (also SLO) are just some of the terms you will hear. While some educators feel strongly about one term over another, I am going to just proceed with the generic term "objectives." Let me explain what I mean when I use the term objective. defines objective as "something that one's efforts or actions are intended to attain or accomplish; purpose; goal; target." The connection to effort and intention go well with the expectations we have for students as they engage with our material. However, I don't like the connection that is drawn to "goal." Instructors often start with a goal. Goals are broad and often aspirational, such as:  Students will appreciate art from a wide variety of time periods, styles, and techniques. Students will acquire an
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