Yesterday we reverse engineered some learning objectives in the wild and at the end pointed out there was a sequence embedded in them that matched Bloom's Taxonomy.

So let's try to put this into practice a bit using a hypothetical situation.

For Excalibur.js, let's say we want to redo our quickstart guide. How could we create some learning objectives we'd want to target?

Start with the learner: who is going to be going through our learning experience? This would come from your personas. For Excalibur, we are oriented towards professional web developers interested in making their first game (as opposed to professional game developers).

Second: what do they want to learn? To make a game. Not just any game, their first game. It's an important distinction – that implies we can't assume they have knowledge about game design patterns or mechanics.

Given this, the outcome for the learner going through the quick start is:

"Create your first game."

Doesn't that sound enticing? That's our terminal objective.

Create is at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy – the outcome is the ability to create new original work (your own game). That means we'll need to define some enabling objectives.

To uncover or create enabling objectives, we need to ask, "What does the learner need to know to get to the terminal objective?"

"Need to know" is important – it's not what we wish they knew, or what we think they should know, it's what they MUST know to accomplish the objective.

To answer that, it can be helpful to work backwards. Start by brainstorming the "minimum viable" steps to get there and not worrying about order:

  • Explain what Actors are
  • Explain what Scenes are
  • Add Actors to the game
  • Create a new game instance
  • Handle basic keyboard movement to control an Actor
  • Position actors on screen
  • Understand how the viewport works
  • Install excalibur
  • Import excalibur code from the package
  • Enable physics simulation on certain actors

It's useful to lay it all out because now we've begun to think about how we'll actually sequence the steps in the guide.  But we still need to consolidate most of the individual atomic steps into higher-level enabling objectives.

I'll do that tomorrow.

Have a lovely day,
Kamran

Working backwards to create learning objectives

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