I finished reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and liked Habit #2 in particular: Begin with the end in mind. I felt that it relates perfectly to our e-learning objectives. That is what our learning objectives should begin with – the end objectives — they should convey to the learners what they should be able to do after completing the course.
I would like to share a few tips for creating effective learning objectives:
Tip 1: Keep your learning objectives simple, brief and avoid long paragraphs as it allows learners to understand the learning objective better.
Tip 2: Consider the following questions when developing objectives. These questions help you keep your learning objectives grounded.
- What should the learners learn?
- What is the learners’ level of current knowledge and skill on the content or topic?
- Do the learners have any background experience on the content or topic?
- What is the language level and style of language that learners prefer?
- Do learners have any major misconceptions about the content or topic?
Tip 3: The objectives of this course should communicate its intent and leave very little space for interpretation. Select an appropriate action word or verb to describe the required behavior of the objective. Use Bloom’s Taxonomy of cognitive behavior for this. Some examples of helpful verbs include: Define, list, identify, recall, describe, diagram, draw, discuss, explain, analyze, compare, predict, relate, critique, examine, debate, interpret, illustrate etc.
Tip 4: Your objectives should specify three main things. They allow you to communicate the intent of the course when writing an objective:
- Performance: An objective must always state what a learner is expected to do after taking up the course.
- Condition: An objective must describe the condition under which the learner is able to perform the task given.
- Criterion: The objective may state how well a learner must perform the task given as it gives a standard to know if the performance is acceptable.
Tip 5: To check whether what you have stated as a learning objective, ask yourself: “Is this what I want the learners to be able to do after completing this course?” Every activity and assessment must be connected to the learning objectives, as it ensures that the objective is being achieved.
“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” – Clay P. Bedford
These are a few tips that I use while creating learning objectives for e-learning courses. If you have any, please do share your thoughts.