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Queen's University
 

Setting Goals

When designing courses, keep in mind the specific goals that you would like the course to achieve. Overall, statements should be short and should begin with a verb. Goals are typically referred to as knowledge, skills or attitudes.

  • Knowledge (cognitive) refers to intellectual development. When testing knowledge, students must: list, classify, apply, analyze, construct, or argue.
  • Skills (psychomotor) refers to development of physical skills. When testing skills, students must: perform, grasp, handle, or operate.
  • Attitudes (affective) refers to the development of emotions, attitudes, and values. When testing attitudes, students must: appreciate, accept, challenge, share, or support.

Course Aims

The main question behind a course’s aim is “Why is the course being taught?” This question gives shape and direction for the course. For example, a course’s aim could be to provide students with an introduction to the Canadian health care system.

Course Goals

The main question behind a course’s goal is “What will the student be able to do as a result of taking the course?” This question provides the scope for the course. An example of a course’s goal could be, “At the end of this course, students will be able to critically assess the contribution of various elements of the health care system to the health of a population”.

Course Objectives

Course objectives are aimed at answering the following question, “what will the student be able to do as a result of the particular lesson or experience. This provides direction for specific teaching and learning activities. For instance, a course objective might state, “At the end of the course students will be able to differentiate between a “sick care” versus a “health care” orientation.

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