How many times have you read a course description and had no idea what it’s about? When creating an educational course it is vital to have clear, set intentions so that your learners know what to expect. Well written course objectives clearly describe the topics that will be covered and the knowledge and skills your learners will gain by completing the course. By communicating how your course content will help your learners gain the knowledge they need to advance professionally, you not only motivate them to take the course, you also communicate the value that your organization brings to their lives.
Ready to write good course objectives? Read our tips below. Your course objectives should:
– Identify the learner. Who is taking the course? Why would these particular people want take the course? Using clear, descriptive phrases like “Ideal of new-comers to the field”, or “Designed for the experienced professional” will help your learners determine if the course is for them.
– Clearly communicate the knowledge and skills to be gained by taking the course. What should the learner be able to do by the end of the course? List the take away skills and knowledge, rather than just the topics covered. Be specific and use using words that suggest discernable behaviors like, “By the end of this course, the learner should be able to analyze, critique, define, discuss, etc. “ Avoid vague language like “understand”, “appreciate” or “learn” that is hard to quantify. An added bonus of a clearly written course description is that it acts as a roadmap, providing the order in which topics will be covered.
– Let your learners know how the planned objectives will be accomplished. What aids, knowledge, or instruments will your learners have the luxury of utilizing? Will you be asking learners to participate in polls, or Q&A sessions, or will they be watching presentations and reading handouts?
– Avoid technical jargon and acronyms. While you might be able to wade through the alphabet soup and understand what is being communicated, your learners might not be as familiar with these terms.
Always keep the learner in mind while creating your course objectives! Constantly think about what it is that you need them to learn and why. What will they do with this knowledge? What purpose does it serve? By focusing on your learners and their needs, you are sure to create a relevant course content that is sure to drive sales and registrations.