Learning Objectives: Part 1

What are learning objectives? How do they differ from learning goals? And what makes them so helpful to student learning?


Upon completion of this article, readers will be able to:

  • Define what learning objectives are

  • Differentiate between a learning objective and a learning goal

  • Identify why learning objectives are important

Wouldn't life be easier if there was a set and consistent way to know exactly what we could gain from any particular experience or interaction? While life, unfortunately, doesn't work that way, your eLearning course can—and should. Enter learning objectives, your online course's helpful coach.

What Are Learning Objectives?

Learning objectives are brief summaries of measurable and observable things your students will be able to do upon completion of your course (or module or lesson). Ultimately, learning objectives act as the guides of your course.

Learning Objectives vs. Learning Goals

Learning objectives aren’t to be confused with learning goals, which are the overarching ambitions you have for your course. Think of the two as comorbid: your learning objectives, and their successful completion, should help you achieve your learning goals.

An example:

Learning goal: Upon completion of this course, students will understand th