AIOU Course: Textbook Development-I (6552-1) SOLVEd assignment autumn 2022. 

Course: Textbook Development-I (6552).          Semester: Autumn, 2022




Q.1 Discuss the utility of UK model to adopt for the text development in Pakistan. Explain pros and cons

Ans.The Contribution of Sustainable Tourism to Economic Growth and Employment in Pakistan

In the global economy, tourism is one of the most noticeable and growing sectors. This sector plays an important role in boosting a nation’s economy. An increase in tourism flow can bring positive economic outcomes to the nations, especially in gross domestic product (GDP) and employment opportunities. In South Asian countries, the tourism industry is an engine of economic development and GDP growth. This study investigates the impact of tourism on Pakistan’s economic growth and employment. The period under study was from 1990 to 2015. To check whether the variables under study were stationary, augmented Dickey–Fuller and Phillips–Perron unit root tests were applied. A regression technique and Johansen cointegration approach were employed for the analysis of data. The key finding of this study shows that there is a positive and significant impact of tourism on Pakistan’s economic growth as well as employment sector and there is also a long-run relationship among the variables under study. This study suggests that legislators should focus on the policies with special emphasis on the promotion of tourism due to its great potential throughout the country. Policy implications of this recent study and future research suggestions are also mentioned.

The tourism industry has emerged as a key force for sustainable socioeconomic development globally . The idea behind sustainable tourism is to visit the locations without harming the local community and nature and also having some constructive impact on the environment, society, as well as the economy of the country. Tourism can include transportation to the general place, local transportation, accommodations, leisure, entertainment, shopping, and nourishment. It can be linked to travel for recreation, business, family, and/or friends [4,5]. Currently, there is a widespread consensus that tourism growth should be sustainable, although the question of how to achieve this is a subject of debate [l

Tourism and the travel sector are important economic activities all over the world]. In many countries, the tourism industry remains an important source for the generation of employment and income in formal and informal sectors [8]. For instance, Hwang and Lee [9] claimed that economic growth and development is rapidly increasing in Korea due to the increase in elderly tourism. This increase shows that tourists feel inner satisfaction, which positively affects their future behavioral intentions [10]. Similarly, developing countries can engender a huge amount of foreign exchange from tourism that could also boost their sustainable growth and development [11]. In developing countries, it is the main source and a foundation for a country’s economic development and growth [12]. Tourism revenue complements the exchange derived from the overseas trade of goods and services. This sector also finances capital good imports in the development of the economy’s industrial sector. Alternatively, economic expansion in the developed nations influences business travel (overseas visits), which can lead to a rise in the nation’s overseas reserves International tourism has become increasingly important in several nations around the globe ]. As per the report of the WTO (World Tourism Organization) in 2018, international tourists spent $1.3 billion per day and in total $462 billion in the year 2001 only. In most of the countries, the revenue from tourism is considered as a substitute for export earnings and contributes a lot to their balance of payment [15]. The government can generate revenue and also enhance household income through development of this sector and easing austere visa policies for international visitors/tourists. There are a lot of examples where tourism has a very positive impact on the economy of any country [16].

In the globalization era, third world nations started tourism to advance their economy, promote peace, develop human resources, and reduce the poverty level [17]. Tourism helps to “enhance employment opportunities and earnings, which can be of major economic significance to the local population” [18]. In terms of employment, the local community could expand their earnings and socio-economic condition, which could lead to an improved standard of living. Tourism improves local community development and helps to reduce poverty

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, India, Afghanistan, and Bhutan. In these countries, the economic base is still weak despite such great potential for tourism. The tourism industry is also a tool of economic development in South Asia like other developing countries.

In the South Asian region, the share of the tourism sector in GDP was 8.9% ($281.6 billion) in 2017 with the speculation of further growth of 7.2% in 2018. It will be 9.0% of GDP ($301.8 billion) with auxiliary income of 6.2% by the year 2028 to reach 9.4% of GDP ($579.6 billion), as presented in Figure 1. In 2017, tourism contributed 7.5% of jobs to the employment sector (49,931,500 jobs) and a speculated increase of 3.0% or a total share of 7.6% of the job market in 2018 (51,436,500 jobs). By the year 2028, the share of tourism in the job market is expected to touch 7.8% of the job market (63,006,000 jobs)

Development Theories

Since the 1960s, the tourism sector has been considered an effective developmental growth pole, and many countries have enhanced their tourism sector to improve their economic development

Todaro and Smith (2011) proposed in their study that it is a multidimensional process as far as development is concerned, and it comprises positive changes not only in economic growth and national institutions but also in poverty reduction. Modernization theory (MT) is one of the most popular developmental paradigms to have gained admiration from the late 19th till the mid-20th century. This theory is thought to be an extension of another theory called growth theory, which is grounded in Keynesian economics  For justification of MT, the theorists used it as a key social indicator for economic development, which trickles down to the grassroots level of society in the form of plentiful economic and employment prospects. Wealthy and powerful modernized economies usually provide a high-quality of life and modern technology to their citizens. Modernization becomes more favored due to its bold and effectual production methods. Moreover, from the tourism perspective, the modernization strategies of development not only engender foreign capital but also smooth the way for the transfer of technology and create greater employment opportunities than before. The main focus of tourism development is these economic paybacks, and whenever other economic resources trickle down, the tourism multiplier acted as a growth-pole [26].

Dependency theory (DT) became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. It is a composite of numerous interrelated theories and mainly focuses on the inequalities of core capitalist and southern developing countries [32]. According to this theory, historically poor countries are kept deprived of development by developed and rich countries. The economic reliance of developing countries on development projects is based on: (1) transfer of advanced technology from industrialized countries; (2) creation of massive debts and dependency on foreign investment; and (3) interest on debts transmitted back to the developed countries

Q.2 Explain the needs and limitations of textbooks. Highlight the style and content of textbook


A textbook is a book containing a comprehensive compilation of content in a branch of study with the intention of explaining it. Textbooks are produced to meet the needs of educators, usually at educational institutions. Schoolbooks are textbooks and other books used in schools. Today, many textbooks are published in both print and digital formats

5 Characteristics Of A Good Textbook

Table of Contents

  1. Free space
  2. Visuals
  3. Age-appropriate material
  4. Well-balanced textbook design
  5. Textbook storyline

Novice teachers leaf through the textbook grammar contents: does it tick all the boxes? You don’t want to leave out that 3rd Conditional (heaven forbid).

More experienced teachers delve into the vocabulary pool trying to hit that perfect balance (not too little – not too much) that will keep their students occupied yet motivated.


My experience in the book business has taught me in more ways than one that grammar and vocabulary are essential, but they are usually not what makes a textbook successful.

The greatest book printing firms create the best books. They have the necessary certifications and qualifications to produce textbooks for schools and institutions. When looking for a decent book, it’s also a good idea to see whether the book printing company is reliable to make sure you’re getting the greatest deal.

What matters most is not ‘what’ but ‘how’. Having that in mind, I advise the savvy teacher to try a different road.The characteristics of good textbook that I recommend looking for first are as follows:

  1. Free space

Young students don’t read; they browse. That’s because they spend most of their time reading from screens, be it their TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

So don’t expect them to focus on a text-rich page and read it from top to bottom. Because their eyes are going to wander.Empty spaces work like rest areas for the eyes. They help you focus on the good stuff.characteristics of a good textbook: pen on open bookIn ten years’ time your students won’t remember the title of the textbook, but they will remember the names of the main characters.

  1. Visuals

No matter what the age of the target audience is, a modern textbook must have visuals. Outstanding visuals.


Why, you may ask. Because Apple does. And Sony. And Disney. And Pixar. Because that’s who you are competing against when you are fighting for your students’ attention.Consider also the increasing number of students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Images break up the text and make it more readable. Students with dyslexia, who may struggle with reading, they often excel in visual thinking. You can consult the relevant bibliography.

  1. Age-appropriate material

When selecting textbooks for pupils, various factors must be considered, including their age and degree of interest. Take a look at the people in the photos in the book. Do they look like your students? Could they be in your class?What about the topics? Are the meanings easy to grasp? Would they make your students want to read on?And finally, the fonts. Are they the same size as your students’ handwriting? If the answer to all questions above is yes, then the textbook is just right for your students’ age.

  1. Well-balanced textbook design

There is nothing more off-putting to students and teachers alike than a cluttered page. It shows that the author tried to cram everything into a tiny space because they had no clue what to prioritize. And this is a huge red flag.When in doubt, go for the simplest form. Look for books with a clear and consistent unit structure. Count the number of font types used in a single page: one or two is ideal, three or more and it gets tiring

The same goes for columns: a single text column is most pleasing to the eye, two or more should better be left to newspapers.


Of course, a decent textbook will last a long time. As a result, purchasing one with a hardcover is strongly advised. Hard-bound books have a long shelf life and are well-protected from wear and tear. They have a lot of color photos that stick out on the website. Hard-bound textbooks also look nice on the bookshelf or the coffee table. They have a professional feel and look to them, and they make a statement.

Final point: activities that start in one page and run over to the next are completely out of the question.

  1. Textbook storyline

Everybody loves a good story. But it needs to be well-written. In other words, it must have a setting, characters, a plot, a climax, and a resolution.

To increase learners’ memory abilities, sentence structure, spelling, and grammar, select textbooks with compelling tales for reading and class discussion. Consider picking storybooks by well-known authors, both historical and contemporary. Young brains will be able to learn from the finest writers of the past in this way. They’ll learn about the imaginative and fantastic adventures of famous tales like Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.

In ten years’ time your students won’t remember the title of the textbook, but they will remember the names of the main characters. Hopefully.

In conclusion, textbook evaluation is a lengthy process. The above characteristics of textbook are just a quick and easy way aiming to take some of the weight off the shoulders of busy teachers. ELT Coursebook Evaluation Checklist will give you five criteria of a good textbook, especially for those who can afford the time and energy to dig a bit deeper.

If you are interested in the general principles and procedures used to evaluate a published textbook, Professor Jack C. Richards suggests that the analysis should involve identifying these kinds of information in the qualities of a good textbook:

Aims and objectives of the book.

  • Level of the book.
  • Skills addressed.
  • Topics covered.
  • Situations it is intended for.
  • Target learners.
  • Time required.
  • Number and length of units.
  • Organization of units

Q.3 Critically analyze the role of contents for textbooks development. Also discuss some recent trends in textbooks development


The Education 2030 agenda re-affirms the importance of providing opportunities to reach Global Citizenship Education, which includes the design of inclusive learning environments and the contents of the curriculum. UNESCO has a long experience in the area of quality textbook development and education; its expertise is related to sustainable textbooks provision; textbooks revision/development; common History textbooks development in a bilateral or multilateral approach.The development of quality textbooks contributes to the implementation of a number of international instruments that have been ratified by governments to guarantee freedom, equality and non-discrimination, such as the 1974 RecommendationThe UNESCO project, “Toolkit on revision/adaptation of curricula, school textbooks and other learning materials to remove cultural, religious and gender-biased stereotypes” was developed in continuation of the efforts of the Organization to promote a culture of peace. It aims at contributing to the attainment of SDG4 and it will assist Member States in developing quality textbooks and learning resources that reflect values such as diversity and international understanding. It is intended to provide policy makers, authors, researchers and all others involved with the development, distribution and use of textbooks and learning resources with the necessary tools to enhance their quality and relevance.

The Toolkit was produced as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding on Culture of peace and dialogue signed between UNESCO and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The three themes culture, religion and gender were chosen for they pertain to diversity. These potentially controversial topics are important aspects of inclusive education and can help shape educational practice in schools. The toolkit is made available online and is published in English, French and Arabic

To align the curricula with the Aims of Education in the 21st Century, the Curriculum Development Institute has conducted a holistic review of the curricula and developed an open and flexible curriculum framework that caters for students’ diverse needs. The current curriculum aims to help students learn how to learn, cultivate positive values and attitudes, and a commitment to life-long learning. Being broad and balanced, the curriculum promotes life-wide learning, whole-person development and the development of generic skills for equipping students with knowledge and skills to cope with challenges in the future.

  1. To implement the curriculum effectively, it is necessary to have in place a learning environment conducive to successful learning. The environment requires, among other things, a flexible curriculum adaptable to the needs of students, teachers sharing the same philosophy in the learning/teaching process, a variety of quality learning experiences and the provision of quality learning/teaching resources.


  1. Students can learn in different environments and through different ways. Learning may take place beyond the boundary of textbooks and the classroom; it may take place through a diversity of learning materials and experiences. Though textbooks are not the only learning resources, they still play an important role in student learning. Textbooks are not only teaching materials for teachers, but also students’ self-directed learning materials for preparation and revision purposes.
  2. Quality textbooks, including both printed and electronic textbooks (e-textbooks), which support a learner-focused curriculum contain the core elements of the subject curriculum, as well as learning strategies useful for the study of the subject. Being important sources of reading for students, quality textbooks help develop students’ ability to learn through reading. The amount and quality of the texts to be included therefore deserve greater attention. Other desirable features of a good textbook include interactivity, the ability to arouse the interest of students, and the capacity to actively engage and involve them in the learning process. In other words, good textbooks tell, involve and interact with students
  3. The Guiding Principles include criteria for quality textbooks in areas such as Content, Learning and Teaching, Structure and Organisation, Language, Textbook Layout (for printed textbooks only), Technical and Functional Requirements as well as Pedagogical Use of e-Features (for e-textbooks only). These principles are generic and central to textbooks for kindergartens, all Key Learning Areas (KLA) and subjects at primary and secondary levels, although some principles may be more applicable to certain subjects and levels than others. It is hoped that school principals, teachers, textbook writers, publishers and educators will all find the Guiding Principles useful for their work. Further details and examples specific to different KLA/subject curricula can be found in the relevant curriculum or subject guides, or in subject-specific textbook guidelines where appropriate.
  4. Besides, using electronic learning resources to enhance interactive and self-directed learning has become a global trend in education. The interactive and diversified sets of e-textbooks developed in line with our local curricula are an alternative to printed textbooks. Schools may select to adopt e-textbooks according to their students’ learning needs and capacity, as well as the school infrastructure and technical support. This set of Guiding Principles is also applicable to e-textbooks. Comments as well as suggestions are welcome so that further refinement will be made when necessary.

Guiding Principles for Quality Textbooks


  1. The Guiding Principles cover the following areas –


  • Learning and Teaching
  • Structure and Organisation
  • Language
  • Textbook Layout (for printed textbooks only)
  • Pedagogical Use of e-Features (for e-textbooks only)
  • Technical and Functional Requirements (for e-textbooks only)
  • The following sections describe the main features which characterise quality textbooks.

Content (C)

A textbook of a particular subject area manifests or translates the four components of the curriculum (aims, content, learning/teaching strategies, assessment) for the purpose of student learning.

C – 1

The aims, targets and objectives align with those laid down in the relevant curriculum or subject guide.

C – 2

The content is self-contained and sufficient to address effectively the learning targets of the curriculum without requiring the use of additional supplementary materials associated with the textbooks. The core elements of the subject curriculum are included. No superfluous information is covered, in order to leave room for students to learn how to learn. If the materials included are non-core, non-foundation topics or serve for enrichment only, they should be properly indicated.

C – 3

The content is current. Information and data are relevant and accurate. The sources of information are appropriately indicated.

C – 4

Concepts are correct and precise. Ideas are coherent. There are adequate examples and illustrations. Such examples and illustrations are interesting and relevant to students’ experience. In the development of concepts, new ones are built on old ones and are introduced when and where appropriate.

C – 5

There is an appropriate balance between depth and breadth in the treatment of the subject content.

Q.4 Discuss some recent trends in the development of textbooks in Pakistan. Develop criteria for secondry level teachers to select the appropriate textbooks for their student


Based on the methodological orientation, the data has been gathered by applying the mixed method approach: questionnaires (quantitative), interviews and textual analysis (qualitative). As the study deal with the sensitive issue of the alignment, the use of mixed method approach will help the researcher to produce quantifiable data and at the same time enable her to validate the research with qualitative data. To ensure the suitability and to counter any difficulties involved in data collection tools, a pilot study has been carried out. Using SPSS a reliability test, Cronbach’s alpha test was applied. The cronbach’s alpha for the pilot study were 0.92. During the pilot study, on the recommendation of experts and further consideration the four point likert scale for two questionnaires was changed to five points.

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!So far, the researcher has completed the collection of empirical data in Pakistan. The process of the collection of data had been quite enlightening for the researcher. The response from the teachers at secondary SSC and higher secondary HSSC had been quite encouraging. The collection of data took five months, due to the security situation in Pakistan. The researcher had to go through a process of security checks at almost every school and college. However, she accomplished her target and collected the data from English teachers at SSC and HSSC level. The researcher has also done the content analysis of the textbook. Different themes emerged in the analysis of the textbooks. This analysis is subjective in nature and shows the clear stand point of the researcher. In the later stage of the analysis, the findings of the content analysis will be incorporated with findings of questionnaires and interviews to make the whole scenario clear.

A detailed time line has been set out to show, what has been done and what has to be done in the researcher’s pursuits towards a PhD.

Signed by Candidate Print Name Saira Farooq Shah Date

Transfer Document Report

An Inquiry into the Alignment between the ‘Pillars of Quality’ (Aly, 2007:17). i.e. Curriculum and Textbooks used to teach English Language at the Secondary level in Pakistan.


The focus of this research is, to examine the alignment between the English Language Textbooks and the proscribed curriculum at the secondary level in Pakistan. Accordingly, the research has several related aims;To explore the process by which the English Language Curriculum is implemented at secondary level in Pakistan.

To critically review English Language textbooks used at secondary level in Pakistan in order to uncover their strengths and weaknesses in terms of meeting the aims of the curriculum.

To analyse the English Language textbooks to assess the inclusion of the ethical and social development (or social cohesion) explicit in the national curriculum of Pakistan.

To make a contribution to the existing body of research into the alignment of curriculum delivery methods (textbooks) and the curriculum aims.


Language Educational Policy in Pakistan:

English has acquired the status of the universal language in the recent years. The importance of English is being emphasized in different newspapers and books by various authors. Crystal (2003, p.1) rightly points out ,” From Bengal to Belize and Las Vegas to Lahore, the language of the scepted isle is rapidly becoming the first global lingua franca. “Economic and social well being, advancement in science and technology has made people dependent on English around the world. Crystal (2003, Pg.30) reveals the fact in the following words,“English has penetrated deeply into the international domains of political life, business, safety, communication, entertainment, the media and education.”Another point of view has described English as a “Trojan horse” (Cooke, 1988 cited in Pennycook, 1995 p.39). This reflects that when English is used as a lingua franca the language user start to think in the manner positioned by that language and they are hooked on that culture and perhaps change their original views. The use of this metaphor implies that the perceptions and culture of English take root in the environment and acculturation takes place. Another comment on the status of English as a lingua franca comes from Phillipson(2001). According to him,“English being referred to as lingua franca conceal the fact that the use of English serves the interest of much better than others. The concept includes some and excludes some”(p.188)

The notion was asserted by Pennycook (1995) that English is the“gate keeper to the positions of prestige in society”(p.40).

An important question which arises is that of, for whom English is serving as a gate keeper. Phillipson (2001) explained this in that the English speaking Population which is 10-20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of the resources and is getting richer, whereas, the rest are impoverished. Bearing this standpoint in mind, the place of English in the context of Pakistan is important to analyse. The analysis can give a clear picture about the use of English and the benefits derived from its expansion.

The role of English in Pakistan is to be studied in the light of the fact that English has spread a world language and also as a lingua franca beyond as, “any lingua franca of the past” (Wright, 2004 p.136). English is seen as a means of attaining modernisation, of the nation as a whole (Rahman, 2002; Haque, 1993; Shamim, 2007). In Pakistan, improving the competency in English is seen as part of improving the standard of education as a whole (Shamim, 2008). Since independence, Pakistan has seen many changes in the language policies during the initial years Urdu was approved as a medium of instruction but English was not replaced by Urdu in the private schools. As a result, two different systems of education took firm roots in Pakistan resulting in creating a division in the people as asserted by Shamim (2008) that, this strengthened,“the British Education policy of two streams of Education, English- and Urdu- medium continued with the same aims, that is, to create two classes of people- the ruling elite and the masses” ( Shamim, 2008 p.238).

The Minister of Education, Zubaida Jalal in 2004 emphasized the need for teaching English as“an urgent public requirement” (Jalal, 2004 p.25).

This need was expressed with the“aim to provide literacy in English to the masses for levelling social inequalities” (Shamim, 2008 p.239).

This inclination of the government was also manifested in the revised white paper on education:

“English should be made a compulsory subject, starting from class I, in all public schools. Such compulsory education of English should only start after suitably qualified teachers for English language are available to staff positions in all primary schools of the country to ensure that the benefit is assured to all the citizens and not just the elite” (Aly, 2007 p.54).

The recent educational policy presented in August 2009, also lays stress on the provision of opportunities for all to learn English in the following words,

“Develop a comprehensive plan of action for implementing the English language policy in the shortest possible time, paying particular attention to disadvantaged groups and lagging behind regions” (MoE, 2009 p.27).

The policy has taken onboard the recommendation of the white paper mentioned above and the policy provision is to use English as a medium of instruction for teaching Sciences and Mathematics from Grade 6 in all the public sector institutions.

English has been used by the elite class in Pakistan as, in Pennycook’s terms

“the gate keeper to positions of prestige” (Pennycook, 1995 p.55) (i am using it again to show the implications of it in the scenario in pakistan)you used this quote above

The concept of inclusion and equity in the new education policy is suppose to spread the benefits of English language to the masses so that they can also compete with the elite class for the positions and high ranks and take part in the development of the country. The discussion above shows that the governments of Pakistan have been introducing the policy of spreading the benefits of English to masses. The following section throws light on the governmental efforts and commitment to promote education.

Education and Political commitment:

Education performs a vital role in nation building. The attention paid to the education sector by any government shows the level of commitment of that government to its people. Pakistan is a developing country and education is one of the many challenges the government of Pakistan faces. The Constitution of Pakistan has placed the responsibility of basic education on the state as this obligation is reflected in the Principles of Policy in Article 37, (GoP, 1973). Despite constitutional and policy commitments to promote literacy and education, for most of the past six decades, budget allocation for education and public spending have been very nominal. Educational funding by the Government of Pakistan has not increased from an average of 2% of GNP over the past ten years while the recommended allocation for developing countries is about 4 %(GoP, 2008 p.157). The economic survey states the reason for allocating less budget in the following words.

“It is on the lower side in accordance to its requirement given the importance of the sector but seems appropriate in terms of current financial situation of the economy”(GoP, 2008 p.157)

The outcome of this situation is that the,

“Enrolment in government schools continues to fall due to out-dated curriculum and text books, damaged buildings and absent teachers” (Qureshi,2003 p.22).


Literacy rate has been improving even though at a very slow pace, a little over 0.7 percent per annum over the last decade with considerable urban-rural and provincial differences. Of the over 163 million population, over 72 million are illiterate, 31% males and 56% females (GoP,2008). the economic survey of Pakistan 2008-09 says,

“According to Pakistan Social and Living Measurement (PSLM) Survey (2007-08), the overall literacy rate (age 10 years and above) is 56% (69% for male and 44% for female) in 2007-08 compared to 55% (67% for male and 42% for female) in 2006-07. Literacy remains higher in urban areas (71%) than in rural areas (49%) and more in men (69%) compared to women (44%).” (p.158)

If we add the 69% male and 44% female they give the total of 113 which should be 100 so is the case with rest of the figures. This shows a wide discrimination in the gender wise ratio of education. As stated in the RD1PA different policies and plans were made to address the issues of education and literacy in Pakistan. The brief summary of the plans and policies is as below.

The Governmental Policies: A Glance.

Policies and Plans

  • Important Issues Addressed
  • National Conference on Education Dec, 1947
  • Qualitative and quantitative expansion of education (AIOU.2007).
  • Commission of national Education 1959
  • Teaching of National Languages (GoP, 1959).
  • The National Education Policy 1970
  • Organization of curriculum committees and encouraging private publishers to publish textbooks (AIOU.2007).
  • The National Education Policy 1979
  • Revision of entire curricula with the reorganization of the textbook boards to ensure quality textbooks in time availability of the textbooks and the reasonable prices (AIOU.2007).
  • The National Education Policy 1992
  • Introduction of national ideology and social values (AIOU.2007).

The National Education Policy 1998-2010

Q.5 Explain the use of instructional objectives in development of textbook. How will you define chapter openness and closeness


Most people would agree that the goal of education is learning. Most would also agree that education is likely to be more effective if educators are clear about what it is that they want the learners to learn. Finally, most would agree that if teachers have a clear idea about what learners are expected to learn, they can more easily and more accurately determine how well students have learned.

Enter instructional objectives. Because instructional objectives specify exactly what is supposed to be learned, they are helpful to the teacher as well as the learner throughout the learning process and are invaluable in the evaluation process.

Instructional objectives (also known as behavioral objectives or learning objectives) are basically statements which clearly describe an anticipated learning outcome. When objectives were first coming into their own in education, they almost always began with the phrase: “Upon completion of this lesson, the student should be able to….” This phrase focused on the outcome of learning rather than on the learning process. In fact, one of the criteria for a well-written objective is that it describe the outcome of learning, that is, what the learners can do after learning has occurred that they might not have been able to do before the teaching and learning process began.

Characteristics of a Well-Written Objective

A well-written objective should meet the following criteria: (1) describe a learning outcome, (2) be student oriented, (3) be observable (or describe an observable product).

A well-written objective should describe a learning outcome (e.g., to correctly spell the spelling words on page seventeen). It should not describe a learning activity (e.g., to practice the words on page seventeen by writing each one ten times). Learning activities are important in planning and guiding instruction but they are not to be confused with instructional objectives.

A student-oriented objective focuses on the learner, not on the teacher. It describes what the learner will be expected to be able to do. It should not describe a teacher activity (e.g., to go over the words on page seventeen with the students, explaining their meaning and telling them how the words are pronounced). It may be helpful to both the teacher and the student to know what the teacher is going to do but teacher activities are also not to be confused with instructional objectives.

If an instructional objective is not observable (or does not describe an observable product), it leads to unclear expectations and it will be difficult to determine whether or not it had been reached. The key to writing observable objectives is to use verbs that are observable and lead to a well defined product of the action implied by that verb. Verbs such as “to know,” “to understand,” “to enjoy,” “to appreciate,” “to realize,” and “to value” are vague and not observable. Verbs such as “to identify,” “to list,” “to select,” “to compute,” “to predict,” and “to analyze” are explicit and describe observable actions or actions that lead to observable products.

There are many skills that cannot be directly observed. The thinking processes of a student as she tries to solve a math problem cannot be easily observed. However, one can look at the answers she comes up with and determine if they are correct. It is also possible to look at the steps a student takes to arrive at an answer if they are written down (thus displaying his thinking process). There are many end products that also can be observed (e.g., an oil painting, a prose paragraph, a 3-dimensional map, or an outline.)

Characteristics of a Useful Objective

To be useful for instruction, an objective must not only be well written but it also must meet the following criteria: (1) be sequentially appropriate; (2) be attainable within a reasonable amount of time; (3) be developmentally appropriate.


For an objective to be sequentially appropriate it must occur in an appropriate place in the instructional sequence. All prerequisite objectives must already have been attained. Nothing thwarts the learning process more than having learners trying to accomplish an objective before they have learned the necessary prerequisites. This is why continuous assessment of student progress is so important.A useful objective is attainable within a reasonable time. If an instructional objective takes students an inordinately long time to accomplish, it is either sequentially inappropriate or it is too broad, relying on the accomplishment of several outcomes or skills rather than a single outcome or skill. An objective should set expectations for a single learning outcome and not a cluster of them.

Developmentally appropriate objectives set expectations for students that are well within their level of intellectual, social, language, or moral development. Teachers, parents, and others who are working with preschool or elementary school children should be especially aware of the developmental stages of the children they are working with. No author or researcher has more clearly defined the stages of intellectual development than Jean Piaget. Familiarity with his work as well as with the work of other child development specialists (e.g., Lev Vygotsky’s language development, Lawrence Kohlberg’s moral development and Erik Erikson’s social development) should produce better instructional objectives.

Kinds of Instructional Objectives

Instructional objectives are often classified according to the kind or level of learning that is required in order to reach them. There are numerous taxonomies of instructional objectives; the most common taxonomy was developed by Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues. The first level of the taxonomy divides objectives into three categories: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Simply put, cognitive objectives focus on the mind; affective objectives focus on emotions or affect; and psychomotor objectives focus on the body.

Cognitive objectives call for outcomes of mental activity such as memorizing, reading, problem solving, analyzing, synthesizing, and drawing conclusions. Bloom and others further categorize cognitive objectives into various levels from the simplest cognitive tasks to the most complex cognitive task. These categories can be helpful when trying to order objectives so they are sequentially appropriate. This helps to insure that prerequisite outcomes are accomplished first.

Affective objectives focus on emotions. Whenever a person seeks to learn to react in an appropriate way emotionally, there is some thinking going on. What distinguishes affective objectives from cognitive objectives is the fact that the goal of affective objectives is some kind of affective behavior or the product of an affect (e.g., an attitude). The goal of cognitive objectives, on the other hand, is some kind of cognitive response or the product of a cognitive response (e.g., a problem solved).

Psychomotor objectives focus on the body and the goal of these objectives is the control or manipulation of the muscular skeletal system or some part of it (e.g., dancing, writing, tumbling, passing a ball, and drawing). All skills requiring fine or gross motor coordination fall into the psychomotor category. To learn a motor skill requires some cognition. However, the ultimate goal is not the cognitive aspects of the skill such as memorizing the steps to take. The ultimate goal is the control of muscles or muscle groups.

The Role of Objectives in Teaching and Testing

Objectives can be helpful in instructional planning, during the teaching/learning process, and when assessing student progress. Instructional objectives are often either ignored (by both teachers and students) or are, at best, occasionally referred to. However, it can be argued that instructional objectives should guide the teaching and learning process from beginning to end.

Most lesson plan forms include a place for the objectives of the lesson to be recorded. However, to write an objective down and then to plan the lesson around the topic of the lesson rather than around the learning outcomes to be reached is missing the point. There is good evidence in the human learning literature that different kinds of outcomes are learned differently. Robert Gagné was one of the first researchers to articulate this; it follows from his research that instructional planning must take into account the kind of learning the students will be engaged in as they seek to reach an objective. Effective teachers learn to categorize their instructional objectives and then develop the teaching and learning activities that will help students do the kind of thinking required for that kind of learning.

It’s time to evaluate. How does an educator know what to measure? Look at the objectives. How does a teacher know what kind of information gathering tools to use (test, rubric, portfolio)? Study the objectives. Any test item, any rating scale or checklist, any technique devised to collect information about student progress must seek to measure the instructional objectives as directly and as simply as possible. Instructional objectives are an extremely valuable teaching tool that guide both teachers and students through the teaching and learning process.

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