Course Goals are overarching, often complex, and important statements about what the learner will know and do after completing the course.
It is critical to have both broad instructional goals, at the course- or program-level, and specific learning objectives at the unit- or module-level, to help focus course development and improve the instructional product. The terms "goals" and "objectives" are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are different. According to Brown & Green (2006), an instructional goal is an overarching statement, and a learning objective is a narrowly-defined statement about how and to what degree instruction will affect the learner.
Once the course-level goals have been identified, the program director or instructor breaks down those larger goals into learning objectives. See EPD - Write Learning Objectives for more help with this process.
Example Course-level Goals
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
• communicate about systems using mathematical, verbal and visual means.
• choose appropriate models for a problem, using observed data and knowledge of the physical system.
• explain and demonstrate the role that analysis and modeling play in engineering design and engineering applications.
Example of Course Goal and Learning Objective Alignment
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to communicate about systems using mathematical, verbal, and visual means.
Learning Objectives The following are a few of the many learning objectives that would support the course goal above.
Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:
• draw a diagram of the system
• identify the mathematical equations involved in the system
• calculate the mathematical equations involved in the system given needed parameters