Learning objective: This article will teach e-learning instructors how to establish powerful learning objectives when creating new courses.
Before designing an e-learning course
, it's essential that you first create specific learning objectives. Learning objectives are goals for the course. Use them to specify exactly what you want employees to gain from the training. Without them, it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of a course, or for employees to always realize what they should be getting out of it. You can see an example of the types of learning objectives we are talking about at the top of this post. To get started on creating helpful training objectives, keep these tips in mind.
The more specific your learning objectives are, the easier it is to determine whether a course meets those objectives. Instead of using vague descriptions, keep in mind what the users should be able to do when finished with the course. Write action-oriented objectives that you can measure.
For example, let’s say your company has started to use a new learning management system
to conduct its corporate training
. It will be important to make sure managers learn how to use the LMS and create courses on their own. An objective to "teach managers how to author courses with the new learning management system" is more helpful than writing that the goal is for workers to "understand the new learning management system." The first objective allows you to determine a course's effectiveness based on whether managers now have the ability to create courses within the LMS. With the vague objective, however, it’s not clear who the course is directed to, or what the users should take away from it upon completion.
Know your audience
Who exactly is the course designed for? Managers? Your sales team? Administrative help? Defining your audience is important not only because it allows you be more specific, it also provides insight into what learners already know and what they do not. Consider both department and position. For example, some courses may be for all managers, and others the entire HR department. Stating this as part of your objective up front is helpful for both course authors and learners. It’s also important to keep in mind what learners may (or may not) already know. Designing a course
for new hires, for example, is a lot different than creating a course for long-time em
Creating good learning objectives serves both course authors and learners. Just as it is important to establish clear goals for the learners, creating useful objectives also will help when creating the course from scratch. A lot goes into designing e-learning courses. When you create training objectives ahead of time, it can help you in the overall structure of the course. Make sure to keep these goals fluid, though; you may find that some of the objectives may change slightly as you get further along in your course creation. And that’s fine. It may help to think of these objectives as the first steps of an outline to your course
Creating learning objectives is a small task that has a big impact on your overall course. For authors and learners, training objectives help establish the overall flow of the course right from the beginning. Use these tips to make sure you have established learning objectives that allow you to build effective courses.