What Learning Objectives are Compatible with eLearning?

Man looking at the computer where woman is teaching online class

There are so many different ways to teach a course for professional development, including live lectures, long online lectures, and the latest trend that’s definitely here to stay – eLearning. At this point, you’ve probably heard a lot about this model, but you may not be sure about the best ways to use eLearning to meet your company’s objectives and professional development goals.

It's essential to deliver quality learning objectives that will motivate and grab your learners. First, you need to understand that no two learners are the same. By tailoring your lessons, you excite and inspire all learning styles. Here’s a guide to learning objectives and whether or not they’re compatible with eLearning.

What is eLearning?

eLearning is the latest in cutting-edge strategies for knowledge dissemination. It’s commonly used by high schools, universities, and businesses as a way to increase flexibility and accessibility. These online courses can be accessed remotely by off-site employees, and they can increase engagement by making use of multiple media formats. As a result, you’ll see higher levels of employee satisfaction and retention.

What Are Learning Objectives?

Learning objectives are a clear set of goals that shape how a learner engages with the material at hand. Once you've figured out what objectives your learners need to meet, create clear goals so your learners know exactly what is expected of them.

To know if your learners are engaged, ask yourself these questions: are my learners actively taking part in class? Are they asking questions to seek clarification? Are they delving into thought-provoking conversations throughout the course?

If the answer is yes, that means your learning goals are clear. To motivate learners, you need to understand the diverse ways people learn. Learning goals aren’t just about what employees learn but how they learn it.

Specific learning goals include developing professional and task-based skills, like learning how to use social media, understanding the functionalities of a new web platform, or learning how to perform a daily operation at your business.

General learning goals can be broadly applied to all or most eLearning platforms. For instance, all eLearning modules should strive to foster improved communication, better engagement, and a personal connection to your brand. To make this happen, eLearning Partners focus on Learners at your company and engage them during an entire eLearning development process. To learn more about our approach, watch Free MasterClass

How Learning Objectives Apply to Your Business

The challenge is creating clear learning objectives that all learners understand and are able to attain. It's important to ask yourself some questions when creating these objectives. Create communication objectives for your custom eLearning program. This will allow your learners to understand the knowledge you wish to convey. They'll recognize what fundamental information they should be absorbing. Your learners need to be connected to the training itself. This is where engagement objectives are especially handy. They aim to keep the learner invested in their training. Explain to your learners how they will benefit from this training. 

When learners are engaged, they remember more. The more motivated and interested your learners are, the more inclined they will be to take additional courses. Your courses could include any number of professional skills. This includes listening skills and communicating with colleagues. You could also focus on management and computer literacy. Advanced program knowledge, interpersonal relationships, and adhering to timelines are all great topics.

Learning Objectives Vs. Learning Outcomes 

To make sure you create the right learning objectives for your eLearning program, you should be able to differentiate learning objectives vs. learning outcomes clearly. What are the differences between these two concepts, and how do you apply them to your program?

Definitions of Learning Objectives vs. Learning Outcomes

 Learning objectives are focused on what the subject matter expert wants to teach and how he or she plans to teach prospective students. This is the layout of the program and the curriculum based on the Subject Matter Experts' point of view. 

 On the other hand, learning outcomes refer to the results your students get from your program. If the learning objective is about the goals you wish to achieve, the learning outcome is what your students learned.

Identifying the difference between these two concepts and keeping them in mind when creating your program is key to getting the results your Learners are looking for. 

Related Read: How to Write Learning Objectives for an Online Course

Below are four steps we recommend taking to create Learner objectives/outcomes: 

How to Create Clear Learning Objectives or Outcomes 

#1. Identify Learners' Challenges

The first step in defining learning objectives is to get in touch with your learners. By communicating with learners, you can discover what their challenges are. Your program should be designed around providing solutions to these problems.

#2. Identify Solutions With The Biggest ROI

Once you’ve identified learners’ challenges, you can explore solutions that will make the biggest impact or return on investment. For instance, you want to grow your company’s revenue by increasing sales, so you launch an eLearning course that discusses sales training.

You can get feedback from your employees to learn what their challenges are. They may be struggling with aspects such as getting follow-up calls with qualified leads. At the end of the course, your reps should learn how to get more qualified leads and close deals.

In this case, the learning objective is more revenue and sales for your company. Meanwhile, the learning outcome is your sales team learning how to get leads and close deals.

#3.  Identify The Learners’ Transformation Statement 

The transformation statement involves your value proposition. You need to look at your students and how your eLearning program can transform them. You want to determine how your course can make your learners’ biggest problems and struggles disappear. 

Related Read: How to Structure Online Courses to Help Students Get Better Results

#4. Create The Learners’ Journey

As you determine learning outcomes vs. objectives, you must map out the journey learners will take during your eLearning course. You can use milestones to measure learners’ progress and achievements. Each milestone can have its own learning objective and learning outcome, and the journey can have three to five milestones for easier tracking.

Examples Of Different Learning Objectives and Outcomes

It is crucial that businesses understand what drives their employees. Ninety-four percent of employees would stay with their current employer if there were continued learning opportunities. To provide successful learning opportunities, you need to communicate the objectives of your professional development plan clearly. Courses for professional development should be a mutual opportunity for you and your employees, helping you streamline your business while nurturing career-long skills for your co-workers. Learning objectives, then, should align with your company’s brand but also give employees an opportunity to acquire useful professional skills.

eLearning courses prove especially useful in making learning objectives clear because they break everything down into small steps. eLearning courses make use of microlearning, meaning that employees have the opportunity to complete small modules that are part of the bigger picture. With a clear goal for each step of the way, eLearning gives participants a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Your learners should know exactly what they will have achieved throughout the course.

Professional Skills and Short-Term Objectives

Opportunities for eLearning allow employees to expand their knowledge base. It also allows them to feel like contributing members of a team. They're able to relay new and exciting information to members of their team while putting into practice hard skills. Learners can choose to take short-term eLearning classes in order to brush up on a skill or to learn something new. These employee training courses are cost and time effective, and often work around the employee's schedule.

Related Read: How to Transform Your In-Person-Training Into an Online Course? Step by Step

Long Term Goals

There’s a common misconception that eLearning is only good for short-term, task-based goals rather than long-term goals. This is primarily because of the microlearning setup of many eLearning courses. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. First of all, you can use eLearning courses to supplement in-person professional development. eLearning can put reading material into practice, allowing employees to try out the skills that they’ve learned in training. eLearning gives the opportunity for repetition and incorporates quizzes to test knowledge, reinforcing what employees have learned to make sure they really know it.

Second of all, eLearning courses may be shorter in form, but they can be implemented over a longer period of time to chip away at long term goals. Short eLearning sessions doesn’t mean you can only use them for task-based skills. It means you can break down information into bite-sized pieces so employees can learn little by little and slowly implement key takeaways into their work. This includes value-based learning objectives like the next two we’ll discuss - communication and engagement. Long term eLearning classes are available for those who wish to receive certificates or degrees. Major benefits include flexibility in a schedule and the ability to learn remotely, from virtually anywhere.

Communication Objectives

As previously mentioned, better communication is a goal that all learning courses share. Whether it’s a specific course on communication or on something else entirely, professional development courses give you the opportunity to connect with your employees and find out what they’re thinking. When it comes to courses about communication, eLearning courses give employees the unique opportunity to test out methods of communication over different platforms. Verbal and written communication are important, and eLearning courses can be used to start conversations at professional development sessions. Since they’re online, you can also incorporate social media and other forms of digital communication. Our course, Personal Connection® 101, includes a section on verbal small talk as well as a section on instant digital communication.

Engagement Objectives

Any good learning course helps employees find ways to engage better. Engaging courses not only help them learn better, but they take this attitude with them into their work. Our courses at eLearning Partners incorporate multiple media formats, including videos, text, and quizzes. We know that it’s important to engage employees on multiple levels. This helps you reach your goal as a company for improving workplace culture. Engaging courses will show employees that you’re willing to put in the effort to keep them happy and help them learn. This will motivate them and inspire a healthy workplace culture.

Collaboration Goals

Collaboration opportunities provide a sense of community and Personal Connection® within the workplace. This is something that employees crave. Employees that form bonds with colleagues will collaborate more comfortably. They will express their thoughts and ideas in an environment where they feel heard and respected. 

Professional Advancement

In addition, advancement opportunities should be available to all employees. This is where internal promotions play a huge part in keeping top-level employees, and keeping them happy. Internal promotions work hand in hand with professional development. They both push the employee to acquire new skills and to continuously strive for excellence on a higher level. Provide opportunities for both, and you'll have employees looking to stay for the long haul. New employees seek a hiring process that makes the transition to their new role seamless. Communicating efficiently with new hires is important to establish effective internal corporate communications.

Providing Constructive Criticism

Adopt a plan for streamlined onboarding that makes new employees feel like valued members of a team. Assign them responsibilities from the get-go. Encourage them to ask colleagues questions, and to open the lines of internal communication. Remind new employees of the importance of their thoughts and ideas. Offer constructive criticism and praise, but be careful how you present this information. Employees may misconstrue this criticism, especially during yearly reviews. Take time to discuss with your employees their strengths. Be patient, and work with them on any weaknesses.

Engaging communication, especially internal, ensures employees understand your company’s expectations. Communicate in a way that is appropriate and effective. All employees should understand their value to the company. There are other ways companies can provide ongoing learning. Achieve this through weekly lunches, sort of as an informal free talk. Provide opportunities for employees to discuss things they've recently learned.

Utilizing New Technology

In today's digital world, new, exciting technology can get employees jazzed about a special project and can help boost morale. Using the latest technology is a worthwhile learning objective that can help streamline the workplace and increase Personal Connection®. This in turn can provide opportunities for collaboration. eLearning tells employees that your company is aware of trends in technology and has an interest in adopting these new tools. Will this keep employees with the company for years to come? Absolutely.

What's It All Mean?

Employees want to learn. They want to feel like valued members of a team. They want to work collaboratively. They want to turnkey new information to colleagues. They strive for professional development. eLearning Partners can provide opportunities for eLearning so employees can better themselves personally and professionally. Engage and motivate learners to create learners for life, eagerly awaiting their next eLearning course. Create clear learning objectives that set measurable goals. Have realistic expectations, and provide pertinent content that your learners will benefit from. Remember to be engaging and know your audience when creating learning goals. A valued employee is a long-term employee.

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