I. Course Design Principles > B. Course Content

I.B.1. Any content or learning activities are closely aligned to the learning objectives.

Values Supported



The learning activities should all support the learning objectives. These materials could vary from very basic or remedial through to more advanced supplementary materials, but all should be directly in support of the stated learning objectives.

The way this element supports Alignment should be self-evident. This element also supports Transparency, because careful alignment clarifies the underlying learning objectives for the sequence of activities, and Responsibility results from students recognizing how each activity contributes to their overall learning outcomes.


Since learning objectives are meant to describe what learners should be able to do once they’ve completed the instructional unit, it follows that learning activities should be designed to provide experiences and tasks that support learners achieving those objectives.

For example, if a learning objective calls for learners to be able to identify three purposes for communication (i.e., inform persuade, entertain), the learning activities should offer cases that illustrate those purposes. Activities might also require learners to perform tasks that require familiarity with those purposes, or provide opportunities to practice new skills related to those purposes.

While this element may seem self-evident, in many classes, careful mapping of activities onto objectives reveals a mismatch between the activities and objectives. This means that either the objectives have not been completely stated, or that the learning activities are inappropriate to the class. If you are certain that you need a particular activity but it is not reflected in your objectives, re-consider the adequacy of your learning objectives.


“Learning Activities Meet Learning Objectives”