When designing an eLearning course you need to be clear about its aims and objectives; these will:
- help in defining the scope of the eLearning course
- keep your planning eLearning strategies on track
- define your eLearning assessment
- tell the learner exactly what to expect
The aim is the one overall thing that you want to achieve in your course, i.e. a broad overall statement of what will be achieved. It tells your learners what they will gain from the eLearning course, e.g.
- At the end of reading this article the learner should understand aims and objectives for eLearning courses.
The learning objectives support the course aim by breaking it down into actionable, measurable chunks that let your learners know what they will do / learn to reach the aim; e.g. At the end of reading this article the learner should:
- understand the difference between an aim and an objective for eLearning courses.
- be able to write a simple aim for an eLearning course
- should be able to write a simple objective for an eLearning course.
When writing learning objectives find the perfect verb to describe not just how to do something but also how to understand something, e.g.
- describe, identify, contrast, perceive, influence, determine, disassemble, construct, recognise.
Then relate your verb to the task at hand, e.g.
- The learner should be able to describe the difference aims, objectives and assessments.
Remember to keep your objectives realistic and that they can be achieved within the scope of the eLearning course.
The end of your course assessment needs to test whether the learner has met the course objectives.
This is achieved through questions presented in different formats, e.g. multiple choice, multiple response (dichotomous), true / false, open ended / free text / essay and file upload.
Advanced features include randomising the questions, setting timers and limits on the number of retakes and require that students achieve a minimum pass mark before progressing.
Lastly, remember to include feedback steps in the learning process to find out how learners found the course materials, instructions, online learning experience and what improvements could be made to enhance their learning.