When writing an eLearning course, one of the most difficult parts is deciding what success even looks like. Often, we approach eLearning as “I know that all my employees need to know about sexual harassment, so they don’t do it”, and we think this is enough direction to get started. But is it? Is it enough to “know” about something to direct behavior?
Let’s look at two different course outlines for a sexual harassment course:
The big difference you may not have seen here was that the objective-based approach was more thoughtful and time consuming to put together. Designing and developing it would require more time too. The instructional designer would have to ask questions about the top issues, most common scenarios, and put together motivational video content to help learners “feel the issue”, rather than just learn about it.
Because objective-based design takes more time, it’s often not used. Most projects are okay with lower quality to push something out quickly. We argue that if you do not consider thoughtful objectives in your eLearning development, your course may completely fail. This is a waste of everyone’s time. Your time, the eLearning developer’s time, and the learners. It goes back to the age-old argument “what’s the point of doing something if you’re not going to do it right?”
First, let’s talk about what learning objective is. A learning objective is NOT a list of what is being covered in a course/training.
A learning objective is a small goal of what the learning will know, do, or feel differently after completing the course.
Notice how these objectives thoughtfully consider what the learner will know, do, and feel after completing the eLearning. With this approach, the eLearning will be more engaging and likely to accomplish the goals and purpose of the course.
If you’re ready to take the step to write quality objectives for your eLearning, follow these 5 steps:
All employees: Explain what sexual harassment is
All employees: Identify situations that are or are/not sexual harassment
All employees: Refrain from sexual harassment.
All employees: Report incidents of sexual harassment.
Information Technology group: Support our sexual harassment policy
After writing your objectives, take the time to thoughtfully evaluate your list of objectives and determine if you think it will help accomplish the business goal. This will ensure you eLearning is a true value add to the business and the time of your audience.