May 6, 2023
Read Time: 3 min
Ask association members about their top priorities, and the majority will place continuing education opportunities, networking, and skill development at the top of their list. It's no secret that most members join associations for the professional development opportunities that they offer, making it imperative that associations live up to their expectations.
When a member considers joining an association or renewing their membership, whether an association has a robust and engaging education program that makes them want to return for more training will be a deciding factor. Associations can increase value for their members by using effective learning objectives to ensure that they meet their goals.
Learning objectives set expectations for what members can expect from an activity or program. They give members a goal to work toward and let them know what they should be able to do after they finish a course or training.
Before we look at how associations can develop learning objectives to help their members achieve their professional goals, let’s first review learning strategies, which are essential in facilitating learning and improving learning outcomes.
Learning strategies vary greatly depending on a learner's needs and include problem-based, project-based, inquiry-based, and active learning. Understanding how these approaches work is crucial when writing objectives for association members because instructors and curriculum designers can identify the best instructional methods to achieve the desired outcomes.
Since learning objectives tell learners what they should be able to do after a learning experience, aligning them with learning strategies ensures an efficient, effective, and relevant experience that meets the members' needs.
Getting to know your association members will go a long way in helping you build an impactful learning program that they'll want to participate in. You can use your association's LMS to gain insights into your members' behavior, which will help you identify their preferences.
Once you understand learning strategies and how to implement them in your learning program, it's time to start writing up learning objectives to help guide your members to their intended goals.
Instructors should ensure that their objectives align with educational strategies and provide learners with the tools and resources to meet their goals. When creating effective learning objectives, instructors should focus on the outcomes, i.e., what the member will be able to do at the end of the experience.
An example objective that keeps the outcome would be: "At the end of this learning path, association members will be able to apply best practices in project management to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their projects."
This objective is specific, measurable, and action oriented, making it easier to track a member's progress. Clear goals also help members understand what they need to do and keep them focused and motivated throughout the experience.
Learning objectives enable associations to assess members' progress and adjust instructional strategies accordingly, ensuring that members are on track to achieve their goals.
While learning strategies will vary depending on the specific association and its goals, here are two general examples:
While the most effective learning objectives for your members will likely differ, you can use these examples as a roadmap for designing relevant learning objectives.
Since most of your association's learning program will be online, your association's LMS has a central role in helping your members achieve these objectives. From collaboration and communication to personalized learning, your LMS provides members with a centralized platform for achieving their goals.
Associations can design learning paths based on learning objectives that direct members to specific courses, training programs, and relevant resources. An LMS can help associations track members' progress toward meeting their goals through assessments and quizzes.
Moreover, associations can encourage on-demand learning by creating a resource library with training materials, white papers, and videos that members can access anywhere, 24/7.
Effective learning objectives are crucial for association members to thrive in their respective careers and industries. By establishing a clear roadmap for professional growth, these objectives empower members to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their fields.
When associations prioritize learning objectives, they foster a culture of growth and excellence among their members, driving both individual and collective success.
Elevate, the leading LMS for associations, enables professional educators to develop curricula, certifications, knowledge sharing, and social learning to help association members meet their learning objectives. Schedule a demo today to see how your association can use the platform to its advantage while delivering exceptional professional experiences.