ABCD Model for Writing Objectives

Well-written, measurable instructional/learning objectives are aligned with instructional goals, particularly in learner expectations, assessments, evaluations, and teaching strategies. The ABCD model is a guide for objective writing and ensures instructional goals are on point. Click on the link to a YouTube video on the ABCD model.

ABCD components and examples

  1. is for Audience — who the instruction is intended for:
    • The student
    • The pre-service teacher
    • The customer service representative
    • The electrician apprentice
  2. is for Behavior — the observable and measurable behavior the learner is expected to attain:
    • Must be able to describe the stages of culture shock (cognitive domain)
    • Should be able to assemble a widget (psychomotor domain)
    • Will demonstrate a communication technique (affective domain)
  3. is for Condition — the context or situation in which the learning will occur:
    • Given a set of electrician tools, a supply of electrical wire, and an outdated electrical system…
    • Given a role-play situation simulating a classroom of unruly fifth graders…
    • Using a list of commonly confused vocabulary and their meanings…
    • Given a simulated computer hacking demonstration and lecture on computer security tactics…
  4. is for Degree — the extent or level of expected performance:
    • Until a score of 80% is achieved.
    • For a total of three times in a practice session.
    • With no errors.
    • In less than five minutes.


Look at the learning objective below and break it down using the ABCD model. Check your results with your partner/colleague.

Given an overview on learning objectives, the ABCD model, examples of well-written and poor learning statements, and additional resources on objectives, the workshop participant will be able to write learning objectives that meet the criteria of realistic, measurable, and observable.

stick figure organizing ABCD letters
Objective Issues, next