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Clear objectives, motivated trainees

Looking for a strategy to motivate learners right away? Spend time writing your online course objectives to make them clear and engaging.

Engage and motivate are two words that are often used by those in the eLearning industry. The reason is that many virtual courses have a high dropout rate. In addition to looking for any problems or gaps in the course content, a key question to ask yourself is why would a learner choose this very online course? One of the first answers that comes to mind will probably be: because it meets their needs.

 This answer is critical to understanding the importance of the training objectives. In fact, only if the potential student understands and is interested in the goals of the course will he or she decide to enroll and be more motivated to go forward. The objectives are like a sort of movie trailer that gives a "taste" of the training course and is decisive in the final choice.

It is not enough to simply communicate the goals. It must be done in a clear and concise manner. Confusing and generic objectives are ineffective and create frustration from the first reading. The person reading the course description, on the other hand, needs to be clear from the start about how long the training will last and what skills they will gain after completing it. Here are some tips for how to best choose and write your course objectives:

  1. Make sure the objectives are in line with your target audience;
  2. Ask yourself if the goals are realistic and if the training can achieve them;
  3. Use simple language and write short sentences;
  4. Use lists to make the main concepts more organized.

In order to write goals in a structured way, you must also consider the cognitive process of the students. Therefore, taking a cue from Bloom's taxonomy, in 2001, Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl offered a list of verbs that can help you outline the process of writing goals, following the stages of the cognitive process:

  • Remember: students must be able to remember information;
  • Understand: information must be clear and understandable;
  • Apply: learners must be able to use the information acquired within the course;
  • Analyze: learners must be able to analyze the information and break it down into different elements;
  • Evaluate: learners must be able to give opinions and make decisions based on the information acquired;
  • Create: learners must be able to use the information gathered during the course to create something new.

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