What is a learning objective?
A learning objective answers the following question: What is it that you should be able to do at the end of this course?
Learning objectives focus on user's performance, so contain action verbs that are specific, such as list, describe, outline, explain, prepare, and explain, should state the behaviours users will be expected to perform.
Well-written learning objectives give the user a clear statement of what is expected of them and provides guidelines for assessing users progress. Our goal for users is learning and if they don’t know what they should be able to do at the end of the course then it will be difficult for them to reach that goal.You can read more about Bloom's taxonomy of learning objectives here.
Clearly defined objectives form the foundation for selecting appropriate course content, learning activities, and assessments. Think about the course you will be teaching. What would you like for each users to be able to do when they have finished?
Checklist and tips
- We require all course to include a learning objective at the start of a course.
- We recommend you to frame the learning objectives, with an opening statement such as "After studying this course, you should be able to:..."
- We require you decide what level of ability you expect the user to achieve at the end of the course e.g. demonstrate knowledge, comprehension or the ability to apply the new knowledge.
- Choose an appropriate verb and align it to the learning content and assessments. Be careful of overstating learning outcomes; completing a course doesn't equal a competent person. We require learning objective to be realistic to comply with our content policies.
- We recommend keeping the word count under 200 words.
- We recommend circa 2-4 objectives per 30 minutes of content.
Good verbs to use
- Demonstrate knowledge - define, describe, identify, list, name or outline.
- Demonstrate comprehension - classify, describe, explain, give examples, illustrate, summarise, suggest or understand.
- Demonstrate analysis - determine, discuss, distinguish, identify, prepare, separate, suggestion or subdivide.
Example learning objective
"After studying this course, you should be able to:
- Describe the differences between arbitration and litigation,
- Suggest the relative advantages and disadvantages between arbitration and litigation, and
- Explain what staying proceedings means and the time limits in arbitration and litigation."