Learning objectives are measurable statements that convey what students should know or be able to do. A learning objective should include how students will demonstrate mastery. As you develop learning objectives, consider cognitive complexity – the level of rigor of student work you expect and how you can scaffold increasing complexity throughout the course. You might first expect recall and application and later in the course expect application, higher level analyses, or the creation of new artifacts.
Additional Considerations for Teaching Online
While most of the information on teaching effectiveness pertains to both RI and online classrooms, following are a few key points for online courses.
- As you create your online modules, include your learning objectives at the beginning of each module. Let those learning objectives guide the content and assignments you include in each module. What content do you need to provide to students to ensure they can meet the objectives? How will you assess whether your students met your objectives?
- Try to keep the number of objectives per module at five or fewer. Any more than five can become overwhelming to students and may be unreasonable as far as concepts we can expect them to grasp in one module.