In a learning environment, it is integral to have learning objectives. If you are wondering what learning objectives are, they are the knowledge or skills that a student is expected to acquire by the completion of the course, subject, chapter, etc. It assists students and teachers to plan the learning and pedagogical methodologies in a better way. It also allows students to understand the learning content better. The objectives ought to be clear, specific to the curriculum, and help the students in their learning process.
Many students tend to feel that learning objectives are exhausting and repetitive, but the right learning objectives showcase the skills and the knowledge that will be gained by the students after they finish the target lesson or course. A good instructor utilizes them to explain or present an overview of the entire syllabus, individual chapters in a book, or a lecture. When students are clear about the learning objectives, they will be able to perform better in their programs.
How Do Learning Objectives Help Students?
Before understanding how learning objectives help students, let us understand in detail what constitutes them.
A learning objective contains pointers to what the students are expected to learn and the goals they need to achieve by the time they complete the course, chapter, topic, or lecture. It briefly indicates the idea behind the lesson and points out the learning outcomes even before the student starts with the topic or chapter.
Learning objectives are framed on three important points - skills, knowledge, and aptitude. Let us look at how these learning objectives would benefit their learning outcomes.
Learning objectives help students to organize their learning patterns. When students know what is expected of them, they will be able to systematize their learning in a better way. In short, it helps in organizing and clarifying learning for the students.
As students get a clearer understanding of the objectives, there is no room for any confusion. It assists them in structuring the learning activities and assignments as per the learning objective. Reduces unnecessary stress among students by pointing out the specific targets of the chapter, or lesson, and helping them understand what the topic deals with.
Better Learning Outcomes
It lets the students know about the important topics covered in the chapter or session. It helps teachers to understand students' learning by evaluating their progress. This aids educators to encourage students to take their learning ahead in the right direction and improve their learning outcomes of students. Moreover, it increases the awareness of the students about their learning curve. They can analyze the learning objectives beforehand and can frame the lesson plan accordingly.
Improves the Learning Experience
It provides students with a challenging and fruitful learning experience. The learning from a chapter or a topic, when mentioned in the learning objectives, provides the required support to the students.
How Do Learning Objectives Benefit Educators?
Creating the right learning objectives can benefit the instructors as well in the following ways:
Develop an Effective Course Content
If educators have an idea of what they are trying to achieve through the course, they will be able to develop effective learning content for their students. It provides the instructor with an idea about the number of topics to be taught to the students. Moreover, it helps in preparing the teaching materials more effectively.
Frame Learner-Centered Pedagogy
With help the right objective, the instructor will be able to approach the curriculum in a more student-centric manner. This prevents the students from getting overburdened with a lesson. Also, it helps to structure and restructure the academic curriculum for the students that best suits their needs. Being student-centric would provide educators with new insights and inputs for the changes required in the session, chapter, or topics. Also, it helps to develop a proper attitude toward teaching the topic or chapter.
Choosing the Right Assessment
Assessments play a key role in ensuring student success. If teachers are able to choose the right assessment methodology for their students, their students will be able to succeed in maximizing their potential and bringing out the best in them. The best assessment methodology would help students in identifying their strengths and weaknesses and aids them in working towards getting better.
In order to have the best learning outcome, the learning objectives ought to be perfect. Generally, the learning outcomes for any topic of study are mentioned in the learning objective. If the objectives and the outcomes are not properly mentioned, they can mislead the students. If the students cannot understand the learning objectives, they may skip the main topic, hence, the instructors need to provide the right learning objectives for the students to help them in succeed in academics.
Tips to Curate the Perfect Learning Objectives
A learning objective can only be beneficial to students if it is written accurately. There are certain guidelines for writing the perfect learning objectives. They are as follows:
- Always avoid starting your objective with words like ‘Know’, ‘Appreciate’, ‘Learn’, and ‘Understand.’ These words may be the ultimate goal of learning, but mentioning them might lessen a student’s interest in them.
- Always try to structure the learning objectives in the form of instructional objectives.
- Always make sure to use analysis, synthesis, and evaluation questions to form the basis of your learning objectives.
- Always write the learning objective in a concise and learner-centred language.
- Always follow Bloom’s taxonomy, as it explains the process of learning in a detailed manner. The concept of Bloom’s taxonomy is simple and can be easily applied while writing the learning objectives. The instructor has to follow three simple rules, such as:
- Before you understand the concept, remember it well.
- Understand the concept before you apply it.
- Analyze the process before you evaluate it.
Framing good learning objectives may take considerable amount of time, but a repeated approach to writing them will eventually help in curating the right learning objective for the students. The learning objective helps the student find the purpose of their study and focus on their learning efforts, stay informed about the selected content or activities, and proper guidance towards testing and assessment strategies.
Writing a learning objective can be a tiring task. Once has to do an intensive research before framing an objective. Some common problems faced while writing objectives are given below.
- When the objective is broad and covers more than one learning topic.
- When the objectives are written in the form of instructions, instead of mentioning how to use the topic for the benefit of the students.
- When the objective is not complete and does not mention the details required to understand the topic or chapter.
Examples of Learning Objectives
Learning objectives play a crucial role in enhancing the learning experience for learners. Let us look at some examples of learning objectives to understand how the perfect one can be curated.
If the educators are looking for the holistic growth and development of the learners, the teachers would have to incorporate the teaching strategies that facilitate their holistic development. Teachers can encourage students to participate in activities that pave the way for their holistic growth.
Soft Skill Development
If the educators expect learners to be equipped with the soft skills to be employable, they would have to frame the curriculum, strategies, tools etc that assist students to develop soft skills that help by the time they complete the course.
Vocational development helps students to attain occupational skills and land the job of their dreams. If the educators are aiming for the student's vocational skills, they can strategize the course accordingly.
Learning objectives play an important role in the curation of learners’ curricula. The right learning objective can help the student understand and analyze the importance of the topic. It gives a picture of what details a student can learn from the topic. If the objective is not written properly, it can mislead the students. The instructor should spend time preparing well-detailed, understandable learning objectives that should cover all the parts of the chapter, session, or topic that should benefit the students in spending time on that part. The instructor should follow the guidelines to write the right learning objective for the students.