This is how to phrase your learning goals for your online academy

Renate de Jonge

Every good e-learning is based on learning goals. Your users will know what they are learning, why it is important, and what they can do with their newly obtained knowledge and skills. But how do you phrase your learning goals in the correct way?

 

First of all: make sure that the goals and results are completely clear for your users. Every user should be able to see their progress and what they need to do to get to the next level. 

 

Learning goals help define, organise, and prioritise the study material, and can assist in evaluating a user’s progress. Learning goals are short, clear, specific statement that explain what students should be able to do at the end of a lesson, module, or training. The learning goal(s) that you use can be based on various learning areas: knowledge, skills, and behaviour.

 

How to write learning goals

You start planning your e-learning by drawing up the learning goals, first for the whole training and then for the various modules or chapters. Your learning goals will be the common thread throughout all of your content, which makes it easier to ensure that all your information and learning activities are aimed at achieving the learning goals. It is ideal to use verbs that are easy to measure in your goals, because words like ‘know’ or ‘understand’ can be difficult to measure. Verbs that describe an action, like ‘describe,’ ‘being able to,’ ‘explain why,’ are much easier to measure. 

 

Ten other examples of these so-called active verbs are:

  1. Explain
  2. Analyse
  3. Show
  4. Create
  5. Design 
  6. Recite
  7. Argue
  8. Name
  9. Calculate
  10. Evaluate

 

Your learning goals should therefore be specific and measurable. Add the terms achievable, realistic, and timely to this and you will get the well-known SMART learning goals. Good learning results are aimed at what the user knows or is able to do at the end of a particular period, and indicate how the knowledge or skill can be demonstrated. 

 

This is another example on how to clearly define the difference between a question and a specific learning goal for the same training:

 

Vaguely formulated goal

At the end of this e-learning your users will have expanded their understanding of the complete research process.

 

Specific formulated goal

At the end of this e-learning users will be able to:

  • Describe the research process of social interventions.
  • Critically evaluate other people’s research
  • Formulate, test, and fine-tune research questions.
  • Determine strategies for collecting data that are appropriate for certain research projects. 
  • Formulate a complete and logical plan for data analysis that adequately answers the research questions and examines alternative explanations. 
  • Interpret research results and draw the right conclusions. 

 

As you can see, the specific learning goal is detailed, divided into sub-learning goals, and contains lots of active verbs.

 

In practice

You can choose a learning goal for every part of an activity on the Hubper-platform. You are able to group different types of content, which makes it easier to find it again. What is even more important is determining whether a training yields the right results. Thanks to the goals, the platform can measure to what extent your users master a specific learning goal. 

 

You simply select the content style you want to use on the platform (for example text or video), and then you fill out the field labelled ‘learning goals.’ The system automatically checks whether it knows this particular goal, and if not, it creates a new one. Deleting or changing a learning goal is also very simple, so the practical side of the learning goals can be dealt with in a second within the platform!


Want to work on your organisational goals through knowledge development? Talk to an expert. We gladly take you through a platform tour and explore possibilities to collaborate on achieving your goals.