“To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.”- Franklin Roosevelt
As an Instructional Designer, it could be your worst nightmare if the Learners meander through the course you develop, with no idea of what is being taught, what are the key learning points and what is expected of them after taking the course.
There is a simple recipe to avoid this………Learning Objectives. Set them right and you will set your course and learners on the right track.
What are Learning Objectives?
Learning Objectives are your one-stop solution.They are used to specify the intended outcome of the course, or in other words what you want your learner to learn.
Learning Objective is a statement, in specific and measurable terms that describes what the learners will be able to do, as a result of engaging in a learning activity.
As we all know, learning cannot be measured, hence it is the learning objective that makes an attempt to determine or assess, what the learner will be able to do, when he engages himself in a learning activity.
Why are Learning Objectives important in eLearning?
As the direct presence of an instructor is not possible in an eLearning course, learning objectives are the only way to guide the learners, along the right track in the course and keep them aligned with the expected outcomes.
They ensure that the course content is consistent with the objectives and helps avoid extraneous content.
Learning Objectives form the basis for deciding:
- Content and Methods
- Learner facilitation
- Course duration and cost
- Course duration
These steps help create the right kind of course, for the right kind of audience.
How to set effective Learning Objectives?
Setting apt learning objectives is more than half the battle won, in an eLearning course.
For learning objectives to be effective, realistic and measurable, they should contain 3 components as propounded by Robert Mager. They are:
Performance: This specifies wherethe learning has to bring about behavioral changes in the learners. As an instructional designer, your course should always aid your learners improve, rather than reduce their performance level.
Condition: Specifies the constraints under which the learners will be expected to perform.This helps prevent misconstruing the content. Condition is the trickiest element, when it comes to setting objectives. The condition set in a particular environment, may not be apt or relevant when learners of a different environment take the course.
Criteria: Specifies the acceptable level of performance. Tells learners how they need to perform, for the course to be considered complete.
False Learning Objectives
Many a times we write objectives which do not necessarily coincide with the matter within the course,they appear as an objective, but do not contain performance nor do they specify what the learner will be able to accomplish. Such pitfalls should be avoided.
Repercussions of not setting Learning Objectives correctly
When inappropriate, learning objectives can wreak havoc with the learning process. They tend to do more harm than good. Thelearner’s miscomprehension of the course leads to chaos and the course intent/functionality (objectivity) is completely lost!
Happy Setting of Learning Objectives!!!
Hope this blog was helpful in providing pointers to proceed in the right direction.
Subscribe to Our eLearning Design Blogs
Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:
It is well-known that assessments are a vital component of an e-learning course. Good assessments play an important role in enhancing the efficacy of the online course by helping evaluate the knowledge gained by the learner and reinforce the learning.
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. In order to adhere to food safety regulations, one of our clients came up with a requirement for an e-learning course.
E-learning and m-learning are powerful learning methods; both are dynamic and effective ways to teach people. So then, what are the differences between and e-learning and m-learning methods?
E-learning involves a series of modules with in-depth subject-matter while m-learning involves smaller chunks of information which can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Modules are designed differently, depending on the kind of format used to learn. M-learning breaks the barriers of time and place and provides easy access to courses. E-learning also enables learners to access information anytime, anywhere through a laptop, and a stable environment is needed for the learner to take training.
As a college student, I had an opportunity to read Wings of Fire, the autobiography of the former Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The story of the “missile man” who rose to great heights from humble beginnings is truly inspiring.
The sudden demise of this eminent scientist is a great loss to the country and has saddened millions. The life of Dr. Kalam is a testimony to the fact that determination and hard work can overcome the shackles of financial and other constraints.
There were a few letters marked “Never sent. Never signed” that were discovered in Abraham Lincoln’s desk after his death. When he was upset with someone he would write a letter expressing his anger but would refrain from sending it to the intended person. This practice allowed him to vent his anger, yet not allow needless or unpleasant consequences. One of the famous unsent letters was to Gen. George G Meade, who was blamed for letting Robert E Lee escape after Gettysburg. Unfortunately, in today’s age of social media, people have “lost the art of the unsent angry letter” – an expression used in a NY times article by Maria Konnikova.
It is common knowledge that good assessments play a key role in the making of an effective online course. They not only help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of the subject-matter, but also reinforce the learning effectively.
We all know the e-learning industry is full of acronyms. Even the word e-learning itself is the shorthand for electronic learning. As an e-learning professional, it is important to be familiar with various acronyms used in the field of e-learning. Here, I would like to share some acronyms that are commonly used in e-learning.
E-learning is increasingly used by organizations as online courses are effective, affordable and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. But, many organizations are not able to realize these benefits offered by the online training medium due to a serious problem – high dropout rates.
Day-by-day, the demand for rapid e-learning is increasing, and so, everyone is using rapid authoring tools to develop online courses. There are many authoring tools available in the market but a few became very popular. Most of our customers and prospects prefer Articulate Storyline to other rapid authoring tools such as Captivate and Lectora. Developing courses in Storyline is very easy, and the tool offers a lot of flexibility to customize the features or look and feel of the online course.
When it comes to mobile learning, HTML5 with responsive design is required to provide the best learning experience on mobiles, especially on smart-phones with small screens. Courses developed in Storyline and Lectora work fine on mobile devices such as iPads and other tablets, but it is difficult to view them in smart-phones. Captivate has a responsive design feature. So, we must choose it if we need to develop courses for all mobile devices. Captivate is not very intuitive and flexible to develop customized features. We can also build mobile- compatible courses using manual coding but it is time-consuming and expensive.
Recently, I read the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design” and in it, I saw the great news for which I was waiting for a while. I thought I should share it with you all. The developers of Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, Lectora Online and other authoring tools are in the process of adding responsive design feature by the end of 2015.
Here is some information from the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design”.
|Scales to multiple screen sizes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Responsive design features||Coming by end of 2015||Yes||Coming by end of 2015|
2016 will be a watershed year for mobile learning as all courses may be made compatible to all mobile devices. Storyline may become the first choice to develop e-learning or m-learning courses because of its intuitiveness. This may force all learning management systems to be compatible with mobile devices. MOODLE is ahead in this regard, and it has a responsive design feature and works on all the mobile devices.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.