Skip main navigation

Three types of learning objective

When planning practical work it is important to have a clear idea of what we want students to achieve.
© STEM Learning

When planning practical work it is important to have a clear idea of what we want students to achieve.

Millar (2009) usefully groups learning objectives for practical work into three broad categories:

To help students:

A. develop their knowledge and understanding of the natural world.

B. learn how use a piece of scientific equipment or follow a standard practical procedure.

C. develop their understanding of the scientific approach to enquiry.

Task

Choose one of the three practical activities you have just watched, and write an example of a learning objective/success criteria for each category of learning objective.
Share your suggestions by posting your ideas in the comments below. Be clear which practical you are providing suggestions for.
Compare another person’s post to your own, where do you offer differing and similar learning objectives and success criteria?

We’ve provided a template [Word] to help you think about the three categories for learning objectives.

A table to complete learning objectives and success criteria for A, B and C

Take a look at our example [PDF].

© STEM Learning
This article is from the free online

Teaching Practical Science: Biology

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education