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Objectives

Analysis of James Popham's Objectives
by

Stephanie Stoyles

on 1 December 2013

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Transcript of Objectives

Objectives
W. James Popham
Biographical Information
What was Popham's aim?
Was a high school English and social studies teacher in Oregon.

His desire to improve teacher instruction directed him towards graduate school.

Taught at UCLA for thirty years.

Taught courses in instructional methods, as well as evaluation and measurement.

Written a number of scholarly work mainly completed while working at UCLA.

In 1968, Dr. Popham established IOX Assessment Associates, an group that created statewide student achievement tests.
Popham's aim was to create guidelines for educational evaluators to use when they are creating and selecting educational objectives. That within education there would be a “possession of some idea of what is to be accomplished.” (p. 96)
Who are Educational Evaluators?
An educational evaluator is anyone who apprises the characteristics and process of education.
Popham's Guidelines for Educational Objectives
In total there are seven guidelines, which were to be used by educational evaluators when selecting, and writing educational instructional objectives for their purposes. (p. 107)
#1) “The educational evaluator should encourage the use of instructional objectives which provide explicit descriptions of the post instructional behaviour desired of learners.”(p. 97)

#2) “While recognizing the non-measurable goals will be limited use for his purposes, the educational evaluator must be aware that instructors may wish to devote a reasonable proportion of their efforts to the pursuit of important but currently unassessable objectives.”

#3) “The educational evaluator must identify criteria of adequacy when using instructional objectives which require constructed responses from learners.

#4) “The educational evaluator should foster the use of measurable objectives which possess content generality rather than test item equivalence.”
#5) “Prior to the introduction of the instructional treatment, educational evaluators should strive to establish minimal proficiency levels for instructional objectives.”

#6) “The educational evaluator will often find the Taxonomies of Educational Objectives both in describing instructional objectives under consideration and in generating new objectives.

#7) “The educational evaluator should consider the possibility of selecting measurable objectives from existent collections of such objectives.”
Popham and Curriculum scholars
Bobbitt
Tyler
“Education is a process of changing the behavior patterns of people.” (Tyler p.61)

“Educational objectives become the criteria by which materials are selected, content outlined, instructional procedures are developed and tests and examinations are prepared.” (Tyler p. 60)

“Studies of the learner suggest educational objectives only when the information about the learner is compared with some desirable standards, some conception of acceptable norms, so that the difference between the present condition of the learner and the acceptable norm can be identified.” (Tyler p. 61)

Discussion Questions
1) To what extent are these guidelines followed within our school curriculum today? Are the guidelines followed in some curriculum more then other? If so, why is that the case?

2) What message is Popham trying to express about what should be taught within a school through the guidelines? What does he value in terms of learning?

3)The majority of Popham's guidelines deal with measurability, assessment, and proficiency. Do you believe that objectives should be written with these concepts as their primary focus? Why or Why not?
“Bobbit operationalized his theoretical assertion and demonstrated how curriculum components-especially educational objectives-were to be formulated” (Esiner p. 110)

“Nine areas in which education objectives are to be specified...he listed 160 major educational objectives.” (Esiner p. 110)
References
Popham and Measurability
Conclusion
Popham follows Bobbit and Tyler in their thoughts of objectives

Technical stance on the writing of education objectives.

Believes that objectives should be clear, measurable, generalized. That they exhibit performance standards and taxonomic analysis.

Believes that objectives are created first, then instruction, and assessment are created about the specific objectives.

A value placed on measurability, standards and proficiency
Popham uses words such as measurable, or measurability in three of his guidelines. (Guidelines # 2, #4, #7)
#2) “While recognizing the non-
measurable
goals will be limited use for his purposes, the educational evaluator must be aware that instructors may wish to devote a reasonable proportion of their efforts to the pursuit of important but currently unassessable objectives.”
Popham believes that objectives of “worth” are objectives which can be assessed and quantified.

That “unmeasurable goals are of little or no use.” (p.97) in terms of evaluation and that time spend on these types of goals should be limited.

Example of Unmeasurable Goal:
“Prompting a student's appreciation of art.”
Though Popham does not discount these goals in a instructional sense, he does believe that the bulk of instructional time needs to be given to measurable objectives which can be assessed by the educational evaluator.


Popham and Proficiency
Guideline #5) “Prior to the introduction of the instructional treatment educational evaluators should strive to establish minimal proficiency levels for instructional objectives.”
Popham believed that objectives should have proficiency level attached to each objective.
These proficiency levels:
Should be attached to the objective prior to instruction

Should be identified using knowledge from many sources who had past experiences with the learners in question.

Can be altered after instruction and evaluation, yet only under extreme caution.

Examined in two levels; student proficiency and class proficiency
Example Objectives (student minimal level)

“The learner will be able to multiply correctly at
least nine out of ten
of any pair of two digit multiplication problems randomly generated by the instructor.”


Example of Objective (class minimal level)


Eighty percent or more of the learners

will be able to multiply correctly at least nine out of ten of any pair of two digit multiplication problems randomly generated by the instructor.

Popham believed by having levels of proficiency, educators will be able to determine how well the students performed the behaviors within the objectives. (p. 100)

Popham states that “By pre-setting performance standards those involved in the design and implementation of the instructional treatment are forced to put their pedagogical proficiency on the line.” (p.101)

Why Should there be Levels of Proficiency?
Examples of Objectives with Stated Proficiency Levels
Popham and Taxonomies
Popham believed that the Taxonomies of Educational Objectives should be used in creating, and describing objectives. (Guideline #6)
Popham outlines the three domains which objectives can be written in :
Cognitive Domain
(Bloom's)
Affective Domain
Psychomotor Domain
Why Should Evaluators use Taxonomies?
Helps classify “educational objectives according to the kind of learner behaviour.” (p. 102) which the evaluator wishes to promote.

Taxonomies can be used by evaluators to create new objectives to make sure that a “wider variety of learner behaviours” (p. 104) is included.
Sample Example of Objectives using Taxonomies
English Language Arts, English 1201 7.5: “
evaluate
the portrayal of cultural identities in texts”

English Language Arts, English 2201 7.4 “
recognize
the use and impact of specific literary and media devices (e.g., figurative language, dialogue, flashback, symbolism)”
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