The Deal You Make With the Learner

Learning objectives are the ways we plot our destination when we are creating or teaching a course, editing curriculum, or designing instructions. They are essentially the sweet deal we make with the learner to get them to join us on this journey.

The Importance of Learning Objectives

The learning objective is a statement of what the learners will learn by the end of the lesson. It’s saying to the learner: “Listen, if you spend the required time on this course, I promise that you will obtain XYZ”. 

Learning Objectives need to be clear, measurable and transparent. And they must tell the learner:

  1. What they will learn
  2. By when
  3. To what degree
  4. Under which conditions

Here are some examples:

  • By the end of this talk, you will be able to explain feminism to a child in elementary school.
  • By the end of this course, the learner will be able to tie a Fisherman’s Knot by hand, in one go, using two slippery lines.
  • After the completion of the 12-week lesson, the golfer will be able to hit the ball 200 yards, with a 7-iron by the 10th try.
  • After reading this essay, the learner will be able to follow the steps to give themselves compassion and be able to recognize the signals of when they need to do it in their lives.

 

Writing Learning Objectives

Assuming you haven’t created your content, learning objectives can be inspired by the agenda, the course descriptions and the business goals.

There’s a basic formula:

OBSERVABLE ACTION + LEARNER AS A SUBJECT = LEARNING OBJECTIVES

So “Gain an appreciation for classical music” may not be a fully-developed learning objective until you’ve added the specific conditions, degrees and times:

“By the end of the session learners will understand the history and musical composition of classical music and will be able to identify the characteristics of classical music.”

Value for Both the Learner, the Teacher and the Writer

Perhaps you may have taken a course with no learning objectives or written pieces with the intention to teach without any objectives in mind and the end results were happy and satisfied learners…

….Great!

However, generally speaking, learning objectives give both the learner /teacher/ writer:

  • Security – no one is asking why am I here? No one is questioning what is useful and what is just bonus material.
  • Accountability – if everyone is clear on what should be covered and what needs to be taken away and by when, everyone is held accountable for their own role.
  • Fairness and transparency – The learner should be well-informed of any metrics or assessments post-lesson, and these assessments should be based on the learning objectives.
  • Structure – By giving the learner objectives you are making it easier for the learner to concentrate. As a writer/instructor/designer, you can gather your content accurately, write it and present it in a clear and organized way. This is my personal reason for using learning objectives. I tend to write broadly and paint the concept with a large brush. Learning objectives have helped me narrow down content and see the lesson from the learner’s perspective.

It’s important to note that as a writer or a teacher, you are welcome to go off on tangents and add in personal stories or additional details outside of the set learning objectives — and this is usually appreciated by the learner.

Imagine the lesson like a road trip. You are the driver. The learner is the passenger. Consider the learning objections to be like the directions to your destination — you are free to take the scenic route but you’re setting out on your journey with the end in mind. And your learner is enjoying your company while trusting that you will get them to where they need to be.

Click here to learn more about Writing Effective Learning Objectives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn Writing into a Business

Welcome Readers to Wendy Writes!

For everyone’s benefit, I pledge to keep my blog posts short and informative.

I will address the topics of writing, the business side of freelancing, lessons learned, resources, and the creative process.

This week’s topic: How a website can help turn your writing into a freelance business.

Here are the quick and clean tips for getting your concept off the ground with a website:

  1. Establish your identity. Find a domain name that matches. Purchase it.
  2. Give yourself a tagline; a motto, a slogan that encompasses who you are and what you bring to this world.
  3. Design a logo or hire someone to do it for you. Create a wordmark, and a combination of the two. Create a business card design. Create jpegs and PDFs in various sizes and obtain raw files of your logo(s). Make them web-ready and print-ready.
  4. Gather high-quality imagery and photographs that encompass your business’ vision. Keep them in a folder as this will soon become a growing identity portfolio.
  5. Build a website using the simple and readily available modern tools; WordPress or Squarespace. Choose a simple and stylish theme. Place your imagery in unexpected places. Apply all the meta tags and required processes to make your site verified, certified and running smoothly. If you need help developing your website, call me.
  6. Pour your capabilities, virtues and gifts into an outline.
  7. Next, write your content.
  8. Place a value – in dollar amount – for your time and abilities. If writing as a business is a new venture for you, then no doubt you have probably worked many hours for free up until now and have done unpaid jobs for friends and family. It’s time to turn a profit.
  9. Identify your potential clients – If you are an experienced writer, you know who they are. If you are new to the business, take some time to consider this aspect before launching.
  10. Don’t be afraid to brand yourself. Most people don’t enjoy faceless organizations.
  11. Before launching send your site’s link to at least five people who can check all the moving parts, find the holes, and offer gentle feedback and suggestions. This is called quality assurance and it is a very important step.
  12. Link your social media accounts or set up new ones which promote your new business.

If you build and nurture it, they will come.