2.3 Module Learning Objectives

Module learning objectives (MLOs) must align with the college-approved course objectives/outcomes. Module learning objectives form the foundation for content, assignment, and assessment alignment throughout the course.

Module learning objectives are stated at the beginning of each module, written in specific and measurable terms (SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time sensitive).

Points: 3 (Essential)

QM Alignment: 2.2, 2.3

Overview

Stated at the beginning of each module, module objectives should be written in specific and measurable terms. A helpful acronym is SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time sensitive.

This is important for aligning your module learning objectives with your course intended outcomes (standard 2.2), and with your module learning content, activities, assignments, assessments, and technologies (standards 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 9.1).

Tips

  • Avoid using non-measurable verbs in your learning objectives, such as: appreciate, know, familiar, aware, understand, select, explain, relate, arrange, choose.
  • The UCF Learning Objective Builder Tool may also be helpful in constructing module learning objectives.
  • Module learning objectives (MLOs) should be aligned with content, activities, assignments, assessments, and technologies (standards 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 9.1). This sample course mapping template that can be useful for mapping the alignment of your course, although the course map document itself shouldn’t be included in the course itself. Instead, you can put the module learning objectives and alignment info in your module introduction pages (standard 2.5).

Common Issues

  • Cannot find module learning objectives
  • Module learning objectives are not measurable
  • Module learning objectives not aligned with course intended outcomes
  • Module learning objectives are not aligned with module activities, assignments, assessments, materials, or technologies

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where do I put my module learning objectives?
  • Where do I find or how can I create my module learning objectives?
    • If your course utilizes a textbook, the textbook chapters may include chapter learning objectives that you could use. Otherwise, you could go through the activities students are doing in a module and describe each with a sentence starting with a measurable verb.
  • How do I show alignment between my module learning objectives and module learning activities and materials?
    • One way is to label each module learning objective (MLO1, MLO2, etc.) and then in your list of module learning activities, add the labels for which module learning objectives align with each activity. There is an example below.

Examples

Sample Module Level Learning Objectives with Alignment Mapping

  • MLO1 Complete a course introduction to identify course learning objectives, purpose, and key concepts associated with the writing process (CO1). 
  • MLO2 Identify the grammar convention sentence fragments (CO2) by completing assigned readings, lectures and exercises. 
  • MLO3 Illustrate descriptive writing principles (CO1, CO3) by completing a class discussion that features college-level writing (CO2.) 

Measurable and Non-Measurable Verbs in Learning Objectives

Table 1 (copied below) in the article “A Pragmatic Master List of Action Verbs for Bloom’s Taxonomy” lists the most common measurable verbs used in learning objectives, as well as the most common verbs to avoid in your module learning objectives because they are not measurable.

Non-measurable verbs to avoid

  • appreciate, know, familiar, aware, understand, select, explain, relate, arrange, choose.

Some measurable verbs aligned to Bloom’s taxonomy

  1. Evaluation: rate, evaluate, assess, judge, justify
  2. Synthesis: create, compose, argue, design, plan, support, revise, formulate
  3. Analysis: analyze, question, differentiate, experiment, examine, test, categorize, distinguish, calculate, contrast, outline, inter, discriminate, compare
  4. Application: operate, apply, use, demonstrate, solve, produce, prepare, choose
  5. Comprehension: translate, paraphrase, discuss, report, locate, generalize, explain, classify, summarize
  6. Knowledge: list, define, recall, state, label, repeat, name

See this document for a larger list of action verbs aligned to Bloom’s taxonomy. Mainly though, try to just avoid using the above non-measurable verbs.

Some example module learning objectives that are measurable and not measurable are below.

Measurable Learning Objective Examples

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Design an education plan that includes career goals and a financial plan.
  • Create a personal purpose statement that articulates their values, interests and strengths.
  • Demonstrate awareness of college support systems and resources.

NOT Measurable Learning Objective Examples

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the difference between IQ and EQ.
  • Know the importance of communicating effectively.
  • Be aware of correct APA style in writing.  

Aligned Learning Objective Examples

  1. Objective: Deliver a presentation using PowerPoint.
    • Activities: How to brainstorm topics, writing an outline, and creating the PowerPoint slides, practicing public speaking skills.
  2. Objective: Construct a decision chart about lab safety.
    • Activities: Read about lab safety, watch videos of lab procedures, and how to create and develop a chart about the lab safety guidelines.

Non-Aligned Learning Objective Examples

  1. Objective: Deliver a presentation using PowerPoint
    • Activities do not include students practicing presentation skills.
  2. Objective: Construct a decision chart about lab safety.
    • Activities:  Students read about lab safety, watch videos of lab procedures, and observe decision charts created by the instructor but do not make any themselves.  

Resources

License

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HCC Online Course High Quality Standards by Hillsborough Community College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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