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Establishing learning objectives prior to the commencement of a project is one of the most important aspects of Cooperative Education. Each semester a student is enrolled in Cooperative Education must identify new learning objectives. They should be specific, measurable, and within his/her ability to accomplish. The objectives must be formulated by the student, reviewed and approved by both the immediate work supervisor and the Director of Cooperative Education at the beginning of the semester.
With the help of your immediate supervisor, use this worksheet to develop a minimum of three (or a maximum of four) learning objectives. When the sheet is completed, be sure to bring it with you to your first conference with your Director of Cooperative Education.
A learning objective is a measurable goal that you set for yourself to accomplish through your work experience. A learning objective may be learning or using a new habit or skill, finding a solution to a problem, or acquiring a new form of job knowledge. A learning objective must be beyond the scale of your regular experiences on the job and over and above your routine performance.
For each Learning Objective you should be able to answer each of the following questions:
What are you going to attempt?
How do you intend to do it?
When are you going to complete it?
What specific measurement will be used to evaluate how well you accomplished your objectives?
Learning Objectives Must Be S.M.A.R.T.
- Specific: Make sure you state exactly what will be accomplished.
- Measurable: Include quantitative statements such as: 95%, 7 out of 10, once a day, or within 20 minutes.
- Action-oriented: Focus on action.
- Realistic: Allow time for personal and professional constraints when choosing a completion date.
- Timely: However, you must aim to complete your project during the semester, well before the date the project paper is due.
Your Learning Objective should address at least one of the following:
- Achieving organizational/business objectives
- Improving workplace efficiency/productivity
- Increasing revenue
- Decreasing costs
- Solving problems
- Learning/enhancing skills or abilities
Use a Problem Solving & Decision Making Model
- Identify/clarify the problem
- Gather information-look for possible causes
- Evaluate evidence: Is it accurate/current information, facts, opinions?
- List alternatives/implications: Analyze/evaluate alternatives
- Choose & implement the best alternative & monitor results
- Take corrective action, if necessary
The process of writing a Learning Objective:
Writing effective work objectives is not quick or an easy task. Reconcile yourself to writing, reviewing, and rewriting. The form of a good work objective has two components: a verb-object, indicating what it is to be done, and a standards component, indicating how well. Work objectives may be broad or narrow, short or in-depth, address financial or operational matters, and pertain to routine or situational work.
1. Before you begin writing, spend some time thinking about the organization. What are the problems it faces? What processes are in need of improvement? What practices need review? What are the developmental needs and requirements of the people?
2. Draft a verb-object or action component.
3. Think about why the action is required. What results will it produce? What outcomes will it have? What effects will be created? Why are they important? What is their value?
4. Modify the verb-object component, if necessary, to emphasize results rather than activity.
5. Think about ways of measuring the work you specified.
6. Draft some measureable standards the work must satisfy. How could you tell whether or not the work or results occurred? What is the measure of those results? Quality? Quantity? Speed? Money? Frequency? Ratios?
7. Think about the time frame in which the work should be accomplished.
8. Specify deadlines and due dates for the work. 9. Rethink it all, rewrite it, and rethink it again.
Now that you are ready, how do you write your objective?
1. First sentence: a. Describe the goal by beginning the sentence with an “action” word (i.e. - demonstrate, create, develop, etc.) b. Describe how the goal will be accomplished using the word “by” to connect the two components (i.e. by making, by gathering, by writing, etc.) __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
2. Second sentence: Tell “who” will evaluate the project and “how” it will be evaluated (i.e. – Supervisor to evaluate through examination and use of spread sheet; through examination of responses; through examination of results; by comparing pre-objective data to post objective data.)
3. Third sentence: Estimate a date you think the project will be completed. (i.e.) - To be completed by October 22, 2015.)
Write your Learning Objective below:
Examples of Learning Objectives:
“Develop 10 character designs for use in an animated show by learning to adapt to studios specific art style. Supervisor to evaluate character designs for quality and creativity. To be completed by December 1st.”
“Improve knife skills by chopping and prepping different foods in restaurant kitchen. Chef to evaluate progress through examination of finished product. To be completed over next 8 weeks by December 10th.”
Early Childhood Education
Teach at least 50% of the children attending my preschool class how to write their names by using tracing and printing activities. Supervisor to observe and evaluate if seven students can write their names independently by December 6.
“Create study guide for Psychology 225 class exam to include main ideas of chapter and vocabulary terms. Professor to evaluate study guide for completeness and accuracy. Completed by November 22nd .”
Graphic & Multimedia Design
“Design Financial Report layout using Adobe Creative Suite software in combination with company style guide. Supervisor to evaluate based on use of color, copy and overall design. Completed by October 31st.”
“Research different types of pain and resources to utilize for coping with pain and create guide for patients to include 5 resources in 3 different regions. Supervisor to review guide for accuracy and quality of resources. Completed by November 22nd.”
“Compose a music cue for a short video by using the techniques and programs utilized at the workplace. Supervisor to evaluate through examination of composition criteria and value. To be completed by November 2.”
“Maintain and organize press hits on the internet into a filing system by sorting through Google alerts daily. Supervisor will evaluate ability to organize all vital data into filing folder by deadline. Completed by November 22nd.”
“Learn the technical aspects of the radio show by training on the operation of the sound board. Supervisor to observe and evaluate ability to work soundboard accurately. Completed by November 22nd.”
“Increase sales of deserts by 30% in 3 weeks by suggesting desert to all tables at my stations. Supervisor to evaluate progress through examination of cash out reports. Completed by November 21st.”
“Increase time able to interpret in ‘hot seat’ from 5 to 30 minutes with minimal self-correction by practicing with mentor. Progress evaluated by mentor by comparing interpreting in ‘hot seat’ at beginning of term to end of term. Completed by November 22.”
“Increase sign processing accuracy by 90% over 6 weeks by interpreting lectures. Supervisor to evaluate progress by reviewing video of interpreting from ‘cold’ week one to ‘hot’ week six. Completed by November 1.”
Television/Film Production & Development
“Create a sports highlight reel by covering high school sports events in the SCV. Supervisor to evaluate for quality and viability for air. Completed by November 30th.”
“Learn how to read and evaluate scripts for potential development. Supervisor will evaluate ability to concisely and thoroughly cover and assess scripts based on assigned criteria. Five scripts to be completed by November10th.”
“Create a series of skid platforms by following specific blueprints and welding them together correctly. Supervisor will examine completed platforms by checking dimensional specifications according to the prints. Completed by September 28th”.