Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


During the past thirty years a great deal of research has been performed focusing on improving the techniques of teaching. The research has concentrated on subjects like objectives, learning styles, cognitive development, cooperative learning, and discovery learning. Considering all the research, no matter what technique an instructor subscribes to, their lessons should always be built around a behavioral objective. Every instructor has a purpose to her lesson. One of the focal points of this research is the use and functions of behavioral objectives. Can behavioral objectives be used by students to enhance learning and prepare for assessment? Much of the literature on this topic has been definitive. With the changes in teaching over the past two decades the question is worthy of being asked again.

The purpose of this paper is to re-address the significance of behavioral objectives. By overtly letting students know the objectives at the beginning of each class will student performance improve? This study will use two techniques to investigate the use of objectives by instructors and students at the collegiate level. One technique is a time lapse, quasi experiment. This type of experiment introduces a variable halfway through the project. The variable that will be introduced is intended to act as a catalyst or suggestion to the students to examine their studying practices for tests. The second technique, using different subjects, will expose the students to the objectives of the instructor at every possible opportunity. The students will be shown how the objectives relate to the assessment. Both studies last a total of thirty weeks (two college semesters) and help answer the following question: What effects do these techniques have on student performance?

This research will also help to determine how effectively professors in the Department of Biological Sciences at the State University of New York College at Brockport are communicating their objectives to their students. The opportunity to study the correlation between class performance and objectives is included in the study. The null hypothesis of this study is that the presentation of lesson objectives will not influence student performance on assessments.


Some pages of supplemental content (sample tests) were missing from the print edition. We have included all the content found in the print thesis.