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We all had a favorite teacher at some point in our academic lives.

For some it was that gentle elementary teacher who made subjects come alive when all you wanted to do was play outside.

Or the middle school teacher who helped you through that awkward stage of unknowing.

Maybe that high school teacher who pushed you so hard; you wanted to scream – but then found your own way.

Or that college professor who opened new doors to career opportunities you never dreamed of.

Either way, we all have that memory of that favorite teacher. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly they were there at the forefront of our minds.

WHY? Why do teachers somehow have such a profound impact on our lives?

Because these men and women show up, put in the work, and were there to establish a strong lasting RELATIONSHIP with us.

We remember those impactful teachers because they touched our lives with stories, motivation, and at the end of the day they taught us something about ourselves.

Whatever that was for you, it doesn’t matter. What matters is you remember the feeling that teacher left you with. The strength and fortitude they gave you to move forward.

As a course creator you are signing up for that job AND to make some extra money while you’re at it.

At the end of the day, what will your student be able to do (SWBAT) when they are done with your course?

When you ask yourself that question, you start to think like a teacher.

You are creating an objective for yourself as the instructor and your students as the learner. Remember an objective is just a goal or something to aim for. If you need to think of it as a SMART goal or something like that, go for it!

But until you start looking at your course through the lens of objectives, you are just going to be providing fluff. Stories without substance get you nowhere.

Each module has an over arching objective. So does each lesson. And each assessment or interactive activity/discussion should have an objective.

For example, if I want to teach my children about scientific method, I need an objective for what each kid really is going to learn about the topic. I have a 7 and 10-year-old. Both kids learn very differently.

My son who is 7 is a hands-on (kinesthetic learner) who becomes bored easily with book work. Where my daughter thrives on seeing pages completed in a workbook (visual spatial and verbal-linguistic learner).

At the end of the day, I will have 2 different objectives for scientific method. That is because I have 2 kids, I’m specializing my instruction for. However, if I was creating an online course about scientific method my objective would be much broader to encompass as many learning styles as possible. My objective would be “Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) define scientific method and use it throughout the rest of the course in order to complete the various experiments.”

Remember objectives help you define for your student what they will be learning and why! This helps you drive instruction and the creation of your own online course materials. And channel the positive feelings your favorite teacher brought to your life to help your clients/students.