The A, B, C's of Consumer Learning: G is for Goals

Justine Ickes
Jan 21, 2015 10:59:36 AM

You have the best of intentions. This is the year you’re going to build an e-course. Maybe you’ll make a how-to demo for a new product so you can grow your business. Or a webinar to share the latest developments in your area of expertise. Or an interactive school where fans of your brand can connect and learn from each other.


Whatever your reason for diving into e-learning, make sure you do it well from the get-go. How?


Focus on the learners and their goals

Before you start dreaming up online activities and filling in your course shell with multimedia content, step back and answer these questions:

  • What do your learners need from you?
  • Are they looking for information?
  • Hoping to learn a new skill?
  • Searching for answers to a problem?
  • When your ideal customer completes your course, what’ll be different for her?
  • What will she know, understand, or be able to do that she didn’t before?


Clearly defined goals make for great courses.

Ever received a present that just wasn’t quite right for you? You know, the kind of gift that leaves you wondering, “Do you know me at all?!” Gift giving and goal setting have a lot in common. And crafting goals for an online course is a lot like shopping for that special something.

You might think that some people just have a knack for picking the perfect present. The truth is those folks have merely mastered the art of listening. And so can you. Simply put yourself in your learner’s shoes and then tailor your course to meet those specific needs.

How do you find out what people’s learning goals are? Listen and ask!

Four Ways to Find Out Learning Goals

  1. Mine your analytics for key themes. What search terms are leading people to your site? Can you build a course around those?

  2. Monitor comments on your blog, FB page, and twitter feed. Are there topics, concerns or issues that people bring up often? Does this point to an underlying need that you could help with in your course?

  3. Track frequently asked questions. What questions do people ask about your product or services? Can you create a course or other learning aid to help your customers?

  4. Reach out to your market and ask. Got a newsletter? Use it to send out a simple survey. Or create an online questionnaire and post the link to your social media accounts. 

To create a top-notch learning experience you need more than good intentions. Take the time to find out what your learners really want and then wrap those goals into your course design.

That’s the best gift you can give your customers.

Click on the links below to read more of our A, B, C's of Consumer Learning series.

N is for Navigation

M is for Multimedia

Q is for Quiz

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