Weekly Overview & Objectives

Written Overview

Each module should begin with a written introduction. Imagine you are teaching a face-to-face course. What would you say in the first 5 minutes of class time to set the stage for the learning? The purpose of the introduction is to preface the content for students and to let them know what they should be looking for or thinking about as they work through the module. Let them know the how and the why:

  1. how the readings and resources will support the assignments, and
  2. why the learning is relevant. 

Consider sharing a story about how learning can apply to a work situation. 

Learning Objectives

Adult students want to know exactly what they will be learning during the week and how that learning will be assessed. We use weekly objectives to tell the students exactly what they will be expected to be able to do at the end of the week and we use Bloom’s Taxonomy to write these objectives.

You will start with the broader course outcomes and break them down into more specific weekly outcomes. Your objectives should be appropriate for the level and content of the course. There is a hierarchy to the learning; each level of Bloom’s taxonomy prepares the student for the next level of learning. For example, before you can apply a concept, you have to be able to describe or explain it.

Make sure each objective begins with a verb and describes the skill or product that will be assessed. Here are some examples: 

  1. Explain the difference between management and leadership 
  2. Summarize the key findings of an annual report 
  3. Produce a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), and analysis 

(Note: ‘Understand’ is difficult to assess, so avoid that verb when creating your objectives)

Tracy Smith also offers some great examples and advice on building objectives in her article, Writing Measurable Learning Objectives.

Here is an example of an overview with strong learning objectives:

Sample Overview page provides context for the week, and three solid objectives that start with action verbs - research, develop and articulate