What are learning objectives?

Learning objectives serve as a foundation for the course and communicate to students what they should be able to do with the knowledge gained upon successful completion of a course.

Learning objectives should not only be appropriate for the course level, but also the objectives should be measurable through the various activities, assignments, and assessments students complete to demonstrate their learning process.

When writing learning objectives, it is beneficial to refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy; Bloom’s serves as a guide to determining which cognitive level is appropriate for a particular course level and for a specific objective.

Once you have determined the cognitive level of the objective, you should choose a strong corresponding action verb that makes your objective measurable.

The following videos walk through examples of course-level learning objectives and module/unit-level learning objectives.

What is alignment?

According to Quality Matters, the concept of alignment ensures that all components of the course (activities, assignments, assessments, etc.) relate back to the learning objectives and support the learner in his or her ability to successfully achieve those objectives.

As a learner progresses in a course, it should be clear to the student how each element of a course supports the various learning objectives. By stating the learning objective that relates to a particular assignment or activity, instructors make this link between objectives and course components more explicit for the learners.

The following video provides examples of alignment at work in a course.