Marzano: Setting Objectives

This post is part of a series on integrating the McREL research on classroom instruction that works with videoconferencing.

Setting Objectives: Generalizations

  1. Setting instructional goals narrows what students focus on.
  2. Teachers should encourage students to personalize the learning goals the teacher has identified for them.
  3. Instructional goals should not be too specific.


Use these to improve your practice.

  1. Set learning objectives that are specific but flexible.
  2. Allow students flexibility in personalizing the learning objectives or goals.
  3. Communicate the learning objectives or goals to students and parents.
  4. Contract with students to attain specific learning objectives or goals (Pitler, et al., 2007, p. 17-18).

Brainstorming for Videoconferencing

At first glance, it seems this doesn’t really apply to videoconferences. Certainly, I don’t think we can make a project template out of it, do you? Just the same, we can improve our practice. What about these ideas?

  • Have students make a KWL or KWHL chart before a videoconference or a unit with a videoconference included. Make sure it includes what you want the student to learn (your objectives) and what they want to learn (personalizing learning). Student motivation is higher when they set at least some of their own goals.
  • The KWL could create a foundation from which to prepare questions, for ASK programs, asking questions of the other students, Lest We Forget programs, and any program with a content provider who includes a Q&A time.
  • What if, before a videoconference, the two classes created a KWL together using a collaborative drawing/brainstorming tool? Dabbleboard looks cool! Do you think this would work? I’m thinking about Read Around the Planet, learning about each others’ communities, and EcoConversations.
  • Take your state standards and use them to create a rubric for the students on what they will learn from this videoconference.

Share Your Ideas!
So, what do you think? Do you have any other ideas? How do you currently set objectives for students as they prepare for a videoconference?

Reference: Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

0 replies on “Marzano: Setting Objectives”

  1. Most of our Virtual Visit programs here at the New York Hall of Science have pre-activities that would include the students developing a KWL chart. We find it to be very helpful in terms of not only getting good questions during Q&A time but also having a more meaningful conversation with them during the program. I think it would be such a great idea for two schools who might be doing a program at once to develop a KWL chart together via something like Dabbleboard. I personally feel it would really help both schools almost unite as one really big class.

    • That’s great to hear, Anthony – one sign of good pre-activities! 🙂

      It would be neat for the students to feel like one big class, wouldn’t it!

      Thanks for your comment…


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