Like most people at their jobs, teachers often discuss the latest fads happening in the profession. Lately, many of the discussions that I've had revolve around the idea of learning objectives - explicit statements of what students should be able to do if they have learned what the instructor wants them to learn - and whether or not having them written on our white board actually helps students learn more or retain the knowledge better. As a matter of fact, a recent article put "teaching without learning objectives" as the second worst teaching mistake an instructor can make, right after getting stuck in a rut and right behind disrespecting students. Over the last few weeks, I've attempted to write learning objectives above the weekly agenda. I still haven't quite gotten the hang of it, but I really plan to give it my all starting second semester.
Believe it or not, I'm constantly trying to be a better teacher and sincerely hope that each year I teach accomplishes that goal in some small way, that I improve as an educator at least a little bit more than I did the year before. So my question to you is the following: do learning objectives written on the board help you become a better learner? Why or why not? Answer the question in a minimum of five sentences in the comments, and you will earn 10 bonus points. Make sure to identify yourself in the comments so I can give everyone the proper credit. The window for answering the question will close on Monday and the opportunity is open to both seniors and freshpeople.
You turned in the mythology unit family tree and witnessed (through the power of reading) Odysseus take on the suitors.
You continued to look for symbolic imagery in Pleasantville. Tomorrow is the day to turn in your Beowulf Revisited assignments.
Edit for clarification: Just to clarify for everyone, a learning objective is different from the daily agenda I write on the board. A learning objective is meant to inform the student of the intended outcome of the lesson. For example, I could write the following on the board for a poetry unit: After completing the lesson, the student will be able to describe the traditional rules and conventions of a haiku. This is different from the daily agenda, which I write to inform you what the intended order of events would be for a class period. The question, then, remains what is your opinion on the idea of me utilizing said learning objectives, which I have done very sparingly and to which I have not called much attention, in addition to writing the daily and weekly agenda on the board.