Aims, Objectives and Intended Learning Outcomes
Aims, objectives and intended learning outcomes refer to expressions of educational intention and purpose, which may be expressed with varying degrees of generality and specificity. An aim is a general expression of intent, and the degree of generality contained in the statement may vary from the very general in the case of long-term aims to the much less general in the case of short-term aims. An objective or intended learning outcome, by contrast, is characterised by greater precision and specificity. Again, at one extreme will be objectives that are fairly specific, and at the other, objectives that are extremely so. An aim is, in principle, infinite (e.g. to become educated, a process which never stops), whereas an objective tends to be more finite (e.g. to understand why heat melts ice).