The ABCD Approach

  • Identify the audience for whom the objective is being written
  • Define the behavior or learning that is expected
  • Identify the condition (the event, the intervention, the activity) that will lead to learning 
  • Determine the degree of proficiency the learner must demonstrate


  • Students (A) who complete the Financial Aid Seminar (C) will be able to accurately (D) complete the FAFSA application (B).
  • Club presidents (A) who complete the Leadership Institute (C) will be able to correctly (D) develop an annual budget (B) and effectively (D) lead a club meeting (B).
  • Students (A) who complete the Graduation Workshop (C) will be able to successfully (D) apply to graduate, run a degree audit, and list the coursework needed to complete his or her degree (B).

**Adapted from Cruickshank, Bainer, and Metcalf, The Act of Teaching, Boston, McGraw-Hill, 1999