How to Create Learning Objectives

By | October 18, 2013

To create SMART learning objectives, you must consider the following rules:

Learning objectives come in the form of statements and contain a Verb (an action) and an object (usually a noun) in each statement.

  • The verb is a reference to the actions associated with the anticipated cognitive process.
  • The object (usually a noun) depicts the behavior, attitude, or knowledge expected to be acquired by and exhibited from the learner after the learning session.

The steps for creating effective learning objectives are as follows:

Create a Stem: Learning objectives must be made with a stem that shows the end result of the program. It gives a clear picture of the outcome of the learning process. You can use any of the examples while creating a stem.

  • After the workshop, seminar, training session or a class the learner will be able to…
  • After finishing this activity, the learner will have…
  • After the completion of this part of study or training, the student or learner will…
  • On the conclusion of the unit/course/session/study, the learner or a student will…

For example: The learner will be able to speak with confidence on any topic.
The learner will list the steps involved in the process of creating a business report.

Add a Verb: After creating a stem you need to add a verb. It will show the observable action, which learner should be able to do. The following table shows the various verbs associated with the action or outcome intended and expected from the learner. 

  • If you want the learner to exhibit knowledge after going through the instructions and learning, use the following verbs in the learning objectives you devise.

Verbs used in learning objectives to exhibit knowledge

  • To gauge the understanding of the concepts, you can test the ability or knowledge of learners by using the following verbs in learning:

Verbs used in learning objectives to demonstrate the understanding of concepts

  • To know the capability of the learner to apply the knowledge imparted under the learning program, you can use the following verbs in your learning objectives.

Verbs used in learning objectives to demonstrate theapplication of knowledge

  • You can also check the ability of the learners to analyze or evaluate by using the following verbs.

Verbs used in learning objectives to analyse or evaluate

  • You can also test the ability of the learner to synthesize or to create by using any of the following verbs.

Verbs used in learning objectives to synthesize information

  • As an instructor, guide or a teacher you would want to know whether the learners or students are able to evaluate and assess the concepts or ideas. For this, you can use the following verbs in your learning objectives.

Verbs used in learning objectives to evaluate and assess the learning

In the process of planning the learning objectives, you can follow some of the following points for better results.

  1. Commence with an action which is observable and measurable.
  2. Do not use words that are ambiguous or open to different readings.
  3. When required, you must state the criterion or expected standard of performance.
  4. Try to keep in mind the intellect of the learners at the time of starting. Then you can devise the learning objectives which will take them to the next level.
  5. Ensure to include all the major concepts or points when you are creating the learning objectives.

In a nutshell, to achieve the desired result from a training or e-learning course, you need to have the objectives clearly defined. Creation of learning objectives, hence, serves the purpose for all its participants and makes the learning process more enriching, inspiring, and successful.

Also Read: Learning Objectives: Commencing with End in Mind

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