Goals and Objectives

From E-Learning Faculty Modules


Module Summary

A statement of course goals and objectives lets students know your expectations from the start. Content needs to be closely aligned to help students successfully fulfill these goals and objectives.

Goals — Statements of purpose or intention and a description of what learners should be able to do/learn by the end of the course.

Objectives — Specific learning outcomes that can be measured at the end of the course. For example, at the end of the course, student will be able to recite all multiplication tables to number 10.


Learners will...

  • Understand the importance of communicating expectations for the course.
  • Review some of the ways to motivate students using student-learning outcomes.

Main Concepts

Whether using broad instructional goals and specific course objectives, or the more general student-learning outcomes, students need to understand your expectations for the course. Teaching at a distance inherently makes it harder for you to communicate your intentions for your course to students. Outlining the outcomes (or goals and objectives) for the course directs students’ attention to what is expected of them.

Frequently, these outcomes (or goals and objectives) are placed in the course syllabus. Additionally, specific course objectives can be restated with the assignments and activities that they pertain to. Some instructors will even go so far as to include examples of assignments to further clarify their expectation. Although one should be forewarned that students tend to follow examples very literally.

Extra Resources

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