Learning objectives, you have probably heard already how important it is to have them clear before developing an e-Learning. They are like the foundation of your online course, since they describe what you want your learner to achieve after finishing it. When learning objectives are unclear or not specific, your e-Learning will be like that which is frustrating for your audience and ineffective for your business.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy can help you to develop clear learning objectives. It will help you understand the level of cognitive process involved in human learning. Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy dates from 1956 but is still relevant today. It is one the most used ways to classify different levels of knowledge and was made to provide a framework for classifying objectives. Bloom’s taxonomy distinguishes six levels, which increase in difficulty.

The higher 3 levels are often referred to as higher order thinking skills and the lower 3 as lower thinking skills. When working with the different levels, make sure that your learner has the needed previous knowledge to proceed. For example, is someone doesn’t have basic knowledge about baking pancakes, you can’t expect them to bake a pancake straight away.

So how do we use these levels when creating objectives? Together with the taxonomy verb tables have been created to align with the six levels. You find the table below.

Creating learning objectives

Once you’ve determined what your participants must do different in the workplace after finishing the e-Learning – create, evaluate, analyze, apply, understand or remember – you can use these verbs to create your learning objective.

A good learning objective:

  • Starts with: by the end of this lesson, learners will be able to:
  • Contains an action verb: The verb generally refers to actions associated with the intended cognitive process. Use one action verb for each level of learning.
  • The conditions under which the participant will demonstrate the knowledge or perform the skill. Will it be in the workplace, at the customer, or when working from home?
  • Is measurable. How do you know if someone succeeds in meeting the objective? You indicate the conditions under which your participant will demonstrate their knowledge or skills.
  • Is meaningful. Does the learner need to do this in real life, for example on the job? If they can not relate to the objective, it will not be meaningful for them.
Two examples of learning objectives

Let’s look at two examples of good learning objectives.

1. At the end of the e-Learning “Prep your retirement” participants will be able to prepare for their retirement – emotionally and financially – by writing a detailed plan in the last twelve months in the workplace.

This learning objective:

  • Starts with by the end of..
  • Contains an action verb: prepare
  • Stated the condition: in the workplace
  • Is measurable: in the last twelve months
  • The learner can relate: he or she retire soon

Let’s do one more:

2. At the end of the e-Learning “Sustainability” the sales department will be able to explain the three pillars of the sustainability program when visiting customers.

This learning objective:

  • Starts with by the end of…
  • Contains an action verb: explain
  • State the condition: when visiting customers
  • Is measurable: the three pillars of the sustainability program
  • The learner can relate: the sales department can use this when visiting customers

Remember, you write the learning objective for yourself, to help you develop an e-Learning that represents your goal. Of course, you can share the objective of the e-Learning with your learner but in that case, you should reformulate it so it’s more appealing to them. Let’s take the e-Learning “Prep your retirement” as an example here. You could reformulate the objective to something like this:

Have you already thought about your retirement? A lot will change within a year! In this e-Learning we will help you prepare, both emotionally and financially so that when you close the door to work for the rest of your life there will be no surprises.

Do you struggle with setting learning objectives and would you like some input? Feel free to reach out, I’d be happy to help!