Let’s pretend you sift through all of your videos, PDFs, audios and images you have already created (pat yourself on the back, they’re fantastic!) You quickly realize that you created them with a purpose, now it’s just a matter of putting words to your original goal!
Start by asking yourself, “What do I want learners to understand, know, and be able to do by the end of the course?” By answering these questions, you’re able to identify your course goals or learning objectives.
Imagine you’re creating a course on entrepreneurship. If you don’t identify the course goals, a learner could go in with a million expectations! We want to set learners up for success by clearly letting them know what they can expect to get out of the course and how it will benefit them.
After review, you’ve identified the following goals/learning objectives:
Discover how to turn ideas into actionable plans.
Identify personal resources and determine their usefulness in reaching goals.
Create a personalized plan for personal and professional progression.
Think beyond circumstantial limitations to uncover true goals.
Now a learner will know exactly what they’re going to be able to achieve by the end of the course! These objectives now become your guiding post that orients how you organize your content, which questions you ask, and which content you reinforce. As you build your course and are trying to decide when to insert a question or summary, ask yourself, “Does this help learners achieve the goals/learning objectives I’ve identified? If so, how?”
Tips for Writing Strong Objectives
Are written from a learner’s perspective
The objectives should appropriately complete the statement “The student will…” or “You will…”. The choice of an effective action verb is of utmost importance. The level of knowledge or skill desired as described in Bloom’s taxonomy will inform the choice of verb.
Targets one specific aspect of student performance
WRONG: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to read and write with a critical perspective.
RIGHT: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to read from a critical perspective.
Need to be measurable
Here's a good formula for writing objectives:
Start your course objectives with: By the end of the course, students will be able to:
Choose an action verb that corresponds to the specific action you wish students to demonstrate
Explain the knowledge students are expected to acquire or construct
BONUS! Now you’re ready to create the first page of your online course!
The first page of your course should be a brief introduction that gives online learners a glimpse of what they can expect. The majority of this initial page is devoted to the following information about your course:
Overview: Big picture summary of your course
Primary Goals / Learning Objectives: Already identified!
Benefits: Why should a learner take this course? How will it serve them?
Ideally, you’ll create a separate section for each that includes bullet pointed lists and short amounts of text. However, as is the case with all pages in your course, it should be customized to reflect your unique tone, language, and perspective. Think of this as your opportunity to make a great first impression! You’ll see a sample below: