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Developing Learning Goals for an Online Course to Improve Effectiveness


In the traditional classrooms, the instructors mainly used to determine what the students ought to learn. Also, the instructors were responsible to measure their students’ progress against those aims. But now, due to online learning, the student needs to set and develop their own smart learning goals.

eLearning has made the students responsible for their learning and development. In this case, instructors need to develop a curriculum that they know will be more effective for online classes. They need to work on a curriculum whose learning outcomes can be identified and established by them. It now an instructor’s responsibility to teach students how to set their own goals and use them in curriculum development.

In this article, we will help the instructors to improve and develop the Learning Goals for an Online Course to Improve Effectiveness.


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Types of Learning Goals

Before we tell the instructors how to develop their own personal goals let us study the different types of learning goals:

1. Short-term Goals

Short-term goals are different than any other goals. These are the types of goals that are developed to be celebrated by the learners as they go along the course. When developing short term goals, the instructors do not need to focus on academics alone. As sometimes, the learners’ aims can be personal, relational, emotional, or professional. Short-term goals can help the students to grow in all those areas in some way.

2. Long-term Goals

Long-term goals are usually what learners pursue over a semester or sometimes an entire school year. It could be improving a class grade over a semester. The instructors should always include benchmarks and a timeline. Benchmarks are used to ensure whether they are making the right progress and timelines to make sure if they are staying on the agreed-upon time frame.

3. Work Habits

Work habits goals are the type of goals that works on the way a learner is to learn. The reason such goals are set up is that they can help the learners to be able to identify their areas of deficiency and to set benchmarks for development. For work habits goals, the instructors can create a self assessment list. This list will help the instructor and the students in dividing their ambitions according to the theme or determining how well they’re doing.

4. Subject Areas

subject Areas

These types of goals are designed using the textbooks or by utilizing the national, state, or district standards. While designing these goals, instructors need to work smartly so they can determine the learner’s improvement. The instructors could ask for the learner’s opinion on what subject or topic they want to improve, and then the goals can be set up accordingly.

5. Behavioral Goals

These goals are the type of goals that can help to know about the learners’ social behavior and behavior management in the classroom. Behavioral goals ought to be more on the patient side with peers or being more polite to faculty members. These goals are the type of goals that can be set up by both the instructors and the learners. The instructors can play a role by helping the learners meet their behavioral goals.

6. Specific knowledge Goals

Again, these goals can be put up by the learners with respect to any specific knowledge, or the field they want to know about. These are the types of goals that can be accomplished or completed by pairing up or by being small groups and work on them together. The instructor here can help the learners being able to meet their specific knowledge goals. The instructor can set time aside class time for learners to focus on activities that help them achieve these targets.

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Defining the Learning Goal Outcome

How does an instructor understand what they want students to learn or do by the end of the course? It is a wide concept, but it can be split into steps about writing a learning goal:

  • Instructors should determine the most important concepts covered in the course.
  • Instructors should establish an assessable definition and metric for concepts.
  • Instructors should also be able to analyze what questions a learner will be able to answer at the end of the course.
  • Instructors should also analyze the skills a learner is able to develop and apply.
  • Instructors should also ask themselves how their courses will help learners develop those skills.
  • Instructors should also consider any emotional goals for the course e.g., if they want to create an affection for the course in learners.

Another route that instructors can adopt is designing their course backward. Using this approach, they determine what learners want to learn or what they want to learn themselves. From there, they consider what skills are required to achieve this learning goal, after which the instructor can determine, what content will help develop those skills.

The instructors who are capable of organizing the learning goals have the skills that create classes where learners achieve excellence.

How to develop and use Learning Goals

Let’s look at the ways through which the instructors can develop and utilize learning goals effectively.

1. Know the target Audience


You being an instructor, should be clear about your targeted audience. Knowing your targeted audience also mean knowing their interests, their current skill sets, and their level of experience. All of this information can help the instructors with determining learning goals. Follow here to find out how to make an online course content effective?

Moreover, it is important to know what is the current knowledge base of the students. Knowing the current knowledge base involves learning about the basics of company processes and procedures. The instructors can do such research prior to developing a winning strategy. Such information will also aid the instructor to tune their goals in order to customize every element of their eLearning course.

2. Know the desired Outcome

In order to have the desired outcome, the instructors need to have an in depth awareness of what their learners want to get out of the eLearning course. Before designing a curriculum, the instructors need to consider some stiff as if their learners are master a specific professional skill. Or if the students are looking forward to getting to know about the policies of a company. It is also important to look into if the students will be taking this specific online class to expand their knowledge of a particular subject. By knowing about such stuff can help the instructors to actually be able to create a strategy that contains the necessary information, tools, and activities.

3. Know how to Communicate Objectives

It is important for the instruction to help the learners know that exactly what they are going to accomplish by completing the specific class or the course. The instructors should take their time before creating the curriculum. In that time, they should create a narrative that describes the learning goals concisely, succinctly, and promptly. The instructor should be able to clearly tell and communicate the learning goal with the learners. To have a good learning goals statement, it should be specific as possible. Through that statement, the instructors should be able to tell their learners precisely what their eLearning course is going to offer them.

Final Thoughts

So, these are some of the reasons why an instructor should develop learning goals. We hope that through this article, you being an instructor know the importance of learning goals. You can now easily develop your own learning goals. Stay safe and keep learning.