Objective Teaching: The Focus On Outcomes
Are you interested in teaching students in a more practical way? In a way that has more application than rote memorization? Although memorizing facts and figures has its place in teaching, there are limitations to it. The main drawback is students don’t learn how to apply their lessons beyond regurgitating information. This means critical thinking doesn’t develop much, which is a crucial skill to survive as an adult.
That’s why we’re going to talk about an objective-based teaching style called outcome-based education (OBE). So let’s talk about what it is, why it’s helpful, and how you can apply it to your own classes as well.
What Is Objective Teaching And Outcome-Based Education?
At the core of things, objective teaching and outcome-based education emphasize a curriculum centered around specific outcomes. In other words, by the end of a semester, students should be able to demonstrate not only their new knowledge, but also what they can do as well.
This is in comparison to simply taking a test that only requires memorization. This approach requires less emphasis on actual application or critical thinking. And naturally, it doesn’t serve students in the long term very much. So if you’re looking to help improve your students in the big picture, you should definitely look at outcome-based education.
The Principles Of Outcome-Based Education
An important part of objective teaching is setting clear expectations. This way, teachers know exactly what to teach, and students know exactly what to learn and practice. Essentially, it’s the teacher’s job to set a clear goal, and then lay out the progressive steps to follow. Along the way, they need to make sure specific knowledge and skills are included. This way, it’s fully comprehensive, practical, and in line with the teacher’s and school’s outcome requirements.
There is no one way to teach with this approach. Rather, you’re expected to not only have a goal and plan, but also to adapt and use your judgment based on student progress. In a sense, you’re more of a facilitator than a teacher. You provide the outcome and roadmap to students, let them have at it, and if they get stuck for too long, you come in with a new tactic to help them out. The tactic can be anything from creating group work, making study guides, or even having them watch Youtube videos if relevant. It’s up to you and what you think may be best.
The great thing about objective teaching is it’s easier to tell what a student’s aptitude is. All you’ve got to do is look at the outcomes they’ve achieved, and you have a clear idea of what they can do. It’s kind of like on a resume - it’s far more helpful to see something like “Can describe the scientific method and apply it in a rudimentary manner,” instead of “Completed science grade 5.” This will even help them transition into a work setting more smoothly. So it’s easy to see how helpful this can be.
A major part of objective teaching is maximizing student self-education. The goal is to give them just enough to create internal motivation to learn and progress. Again, this is a highly practical skill for them to master. As adults, we already know the value of being productive without having others make us do it. So this will serve them for the rest of their lives.
How To Use Objective Teaching In Your Own Curriculum
If you’d like to informally use outcome-based education in your class, you just need to follow a few steps to make it happen.
First, select the outcomes you’d like your students to achieve. This is the most important step as all your planning will stem from them.
- At the completion of this class, the student will be able to type at 65+ words per minute
- At the completion of this class, the student will be able to write a short essay about a children’s book
- At the completion of this class, the student will be able to run a 10-minute mile
Basically, this means you should clarify what your students should be capable of doing by the end of the semester.
Next, work backward and plot out the milestones, skills, and knowledge to reach the outcomes.
For instance, if the goal is typing 65+ words per minute, then you could break up the semester into 3 parts, like so:
- Milestone one could be typing 25+ words per minute
- Milestone two could be 45+ words per minute
- Milestone three could be 65+ words per minute.
This is easily trackable for both students and teachers. In between the milestones, you’d include specific knowledge and practices that help them reach the next milestone.
Use Objective Teaching For Better Long Term Learning
Clearly, there are benefits for students when you teach them with outcome-based education. Try it out if you think it’d be a good fit for you and your students. Also, if you’d like to apply this method to improve your student’s typing skills like in the example above, it’s easy to do so by using the tools at KeyboardingOnline to make it happen.