Learning objectives are what learners will get out of finishing a learning experience. They are used as part of the design process to make it clear what someone will learn and to sequence the material in a way that makes sense to the learner. It's useful to you as it ensures you know what you're trying to teach (and why).
There are two kinds of learning objectives:
- The terminal objective – the final outcome of finishing the learning experience. There is only one terminal objective for a learning experience
- The enabling objectives – the individual learning objectives that lead to the terminal objective
If the terminal objective is the water and the developer is the horse, enabling objectives lead the developer horse to water.
Here's a visual:
When it comes to accelerating adoption, defining clear learning objectives answers the quintessential question, "What's in it for me?"
If developers understand what they're about to learn (and how it might help them), they are more likely to finish a learning experience – whether that's a how-to, technical article, course, or video.
If prospects understand what they'll learn from sitting through your pitch deck (learn how we'll 10X your growth), they're more likely to give you the time of day.
No matter what kind of content or learning experiences you are making, there's some kind of implicit learning outcome – might as well define it explicitly so objectives they can be tracked, modified, and iterated on across your content mix.
That's what learning objectives are but how do you write them? Learning objectives typically adhere to a specific structure like:
After finishing this article, you will be able to:
- Explain ...
- Understand ...
- Create ...
Tomorrow I'll reveal how learning objectives use these action words in a structured way – and how that helps you educate people about your product more effectively.
Have a lovely day,