Why Learning Objectives Anyway?

So why should we have learning objectives in education modules?  I know … sometimes they are less than exciting, and you want to grab the audience right away!  However, there is a  purpose to the learning objectives and they come from adult learning principles.  At a high level we want to create a folder in your mind that is going to remember what you are learning and file it away in your memory so that in the future, it’s easy to recall.  Also, when creating the education it helps the instructor to focus the content so that at the end, you will be able to take away what the learning objectives promised, and remove any unnecessary, extra content, that might take the course on a tangent.

Learning objectives should answer … “Why should a student take this course anyway?”  and “What will you get out of it”, what could I test you on from this course?”

Learning objectives refer to observable and measurable:

• knowledge

• skills

• attitude

Wording makes a big difference and you want to make sure the learning objectives are measurable, so be careful with the wording, you should not use words like “understand”, or “know” in the learning objectives, because you will never be able to measure someone’s understanding.  

Instead try SMART(Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) verbs like:  

Demonstrate, Develop, Analyze, Express, Evaluate,Organize, Create, Write, Plan, Apply, Identify, Describe, etc.

Here are some more links all about learning objectives: 

Even as the presenter, it helps you focus right away what you will be presenting, and if you have different people presenting the material it becomes much easier to train other trainers on what’s inside the course.  Also, when constructing workshops with multiple courses, when you have learning objectives, it becomes possible to shape the workshops and pick the right modules just by quickly looking at the learning objectives and choosing what you want the audience to take away from the workshop.

What has your experience been with learning objectives? 
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About Anna Dreyzin

Digital Leader | Enabling Individuals and Companies with Social Business| Education Specialist | Strategy Consultant | Speaker
This entry was posted in education, learning-objectives, work-related. Bookmark the permalink.

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