Objectives & Alignment
Course Certification Checklist
Objectives are addressed by Standards 7 and 8 on the Course Certification Checklist.
Standard 7 states, “Measurable course learning objectives (course/program competencies) are clearly stated in the course description, in the course site, or in the syllabus.”
Standard 8 states, “Module/unit learning objectives or competencies describe outcomes that are measurable and are consistent with course level objectives/competencies.”

When considering the learning process, there are subtle differences between goals and objectives. Being able to identify these differences can assist faculty in fine-tuning the overall roadmap of a course.

  • Goals provide a broad framework for what faculty want students to learn and use general terms (e.g. clear communication, critical-thinking skills, etc.)
  • Objectives provide a clear, specific indication of the desired leraning outcomes faculty want students to demonstrate or achieve as a result of the learning process.

The table below provides some examples of a course goal, course objective, and a weekly/module-level objective.

Course Goal Course Objective Weekly/Module-level Objective
The goal of the course is to help the learner obtain a basic proficiency in music reading and brass instruments. The learner will learn how to play a scale on the trombone. Given a trombone, the learner will play an F# note for at least 10 seconds.

Establishing course and module-level objectives provide a course roadmap for both faculty and students. Students are able to track their progress and identify the key takeaways from a lesson or course.

One method for writing direct, measurable learning objectives involves Bloom’s Taxonomy, which divides thinking skills into categories that range from low-order thinking skills to higher-order thinking skills. From there, various action verbs are associated with each of the categories.

Course Certification Checklist
Alignment is addressed by Standards 7, 8, 12, and 13 on the Course Certification Checklist.
Standard 7 states, “Measurable course learning objectives (course/program competencies) are clearly stated in the course description, in the course site, or in the syllabus.”
Standard 8 states, “Module/unit learning objectives or competencies describe outcomes that are measurable and are consistent with course level objectives/competencies.”
Standard 12 states, “The assessments are sequenced and varied and the course provides the learners with multiple opportunities to track their learning progress (formative and summative assessments.”
Standard 13 states, “Both the purpose of the instructional materials and how the materials are to be used for learning activities are clearly explained.”
For faculty, objectives help tailor content, teaching strategies, and assessments to the learning objectives, which is called alignment. Essentially, all aspects of the course work together to create a cohesive learning experience for students.

Faculty are welcome to use the Course Alignment Worksheet as they plan, design, and/or redesign their courses to ensure they have an aligned course.

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Workshops and Training

The Instructional Design and Technology team offers free online and face-to-face trainings focused on technology implementation and quality course design. Check out our frequently updated training calendar to view all current offerings. Want to request a departmental or one-on-one course consultation? Please schedule an appointment now!

Instructional Technology Support

UMKC uses a variety of e-learning tools including the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), Panopto for lecture capture, Zoom for synchronous course sessions and meetings, and many more. Learn more about the unique features of these tools and discover how to implement them in your own course.

Course Certification Checklist

Instructors may request for the Quality Matters certified UMKC Instructional Designers to conduct a review of their online course using the Course Certification Checklist. Courses meeting each element of the Certification Checklist will be certified for online instruction at UMKC.

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