From a student perspective, clear learning objectives help to set expectations. From an instructor perspective, learning objectives help guide course activity to a measureable outcome. So, it is important that educator’s take the time to develop clear and meaningful learning objectives for course modules.
As a general rule, learning objectives should be specific and observable; there should be a few objectives per module – no less than three, no more than six.
There is a lot available about the art of developing well thought-out learning objectives, including:
- USFSP Distance Learning Blog, “Learning Objectives”
- Rapid E-Learning Blog, “Learning Objectives Made Easy with This Simple Tip”
- Learn and teach Statistics and Operations Research blog, “Why learning objectives are so important”
- An Ethical Island blog, “Learning Objectives”
However, I found Cathy Moore’s piece, “Makeover: Turn objectives into motivators” to add a different and interesting perspective on the task. Although her piece is geared toward training, rather than higher education, she shares specific examples about how to write learning objectives that are powerful and relevant to the learner.