Instructional Goals for Learning Domains

Course: Instructional Design (specifically, the Dick & Carey approach)

Assignment: Provide a sample instructional goal for each of the 4 learning domains (psychomotor skills, intellectual skills, verbal information, and attitude) discussed in our text book.  Also provide a rational and real world examples or experience for each.

I went back to my music roots for this one.

Psychomotor skills:

  • Sample instructional goal – Play a C Major scale using proper hand placement and technique
  • Rationale – Requires mental planning (identify middle C, proper hand placement, technique) followed by the physical activity of actually playing the scale.
  • Example/Experience – One of the first lessons is focused only on middle-C and gradually adds notes, working up to a full scale.

Verbal information:

  • Sample instructional goal – Name the notes in a C Major scale
  • Rationale – Requires a specific response to a specific question
  • Example/Experience – Taking piano lessons, this was one of the first scales learned – all white keys, C D E F G A B C.

Intellectual skills:

  • Sample instructional goal – Identify the interval between two notes being played individually.
  • Rationale – Requires learner to use previously learned theory and listening skills to correctly identify the intervals between two notes.
  • Example/Experience – Ear training. I hated ear training. Common ascending intervals most musicians “just know”: 2nd (C-D), 3rd (C-E), 5th (C-G), Octave (C-C). Intervals that took tricks for me to learn: 4th (C-F) “Here comes the bride”; 6th (C-A) “My Bon”nie lies over the ocean”; 7th (C-B) Just itches to move on up to that C.


  • Sample instructional goal – Demonstrate an appreciation of different styles of music
  • Rationale – Requires learner to listen to various styles of music, identify their differences, and “appreciate” those differences.
  • Example/Experience – Basically, I thought of Music Appreciation. As a junior in college, having to take Music Appreciation was sometimes painful. For instance, I don’t particularly care for Ravel’s “Bolero” because it’s so repetitive, but I do understand how it could help in listening skills (it starts with one instrument and gradually adds more). For me, learning the structure of a sonata gave me a deeper appreciation for the style. Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, 1st movement, for example. Exposition– initial themes or motifs are “announced”; Development – motifs are altered (inverted, key change, etc.); Recapitulation – return to initial motifs (and key); Coda – not a normal part of a sonata, but essentially an ending. Beethoven was a master at passing up perfectly good spots to END ALREADY!