Quality Matters Standard 2
Learning Objectives (Competencies)

Specific Review Standards

2.1 The course learning objectives, or course/program competencies, describe outcomes that are measurable.

2.2 The module/unit learning objectives or competencies describe outcomes that are measurable and consistent with the course-level objectives and competencies.

2.3 Learning objectives or competencies are stated clearly, are written from the learner’s perspective, and are prominently located in the course.

2.4 The relationship between learning objectives or competencies and learning activities is clearly stated.

2.5 The learning objectives or competencies are suited to the level of the course.


Learning objectives form the foundation of your course and should drive your selection of materials, assessments, activities, and technology tools. Keep in mind that module learning objectives should support the course level objectives.

Alignment occurs when course components are consistent with your learning objectives, so that materials, activities, and assessments work together to ensure that learners are achieving the stated outcomes.

By clearly communicating the relationship between objectives and course components, you can easily share with your learners why they are engaging with your content and completing activities and assessments. One way to do this is to include a table in your course to show how learning objectives are connected with course components.


Next Steps

How will you measure student learning? See Course Quality Checklist and Toolkit 3 – Assessment and Measurement.

See our other Course Quality Checklists for more information:


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike LicenseThe University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies | Adapted from Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning 6/27/2020 | © 2014 New Mexico State University Board of Regents | Quality Matters https://www.qmprogram.org | Revised 4/14/2021