Formatting Fantastic Course Descriptions and Learning Objectives

You’ve invested in making a quality elearning course and you want learners to love it. Crafting the perfect descriptions and learning objectives will help you showcase your product to future learners. Don’t miss your chance to market it properly by lacking in writing skills. Create great first impressions to increase sales and usage of your course by following this detailed guide below.



Descriptions shouldn’t be boring and dry, but rather help build excitement for someone looking to take the course or purchase for their team. Try starting off your description with a compelling statement, such as a statistic that shocks the reader or gets them thinking.

Another important element  to keep in mind while writing your description is complicated vocabulary or specific jargon. We suggest avoiding industry specific words as your learners could be confused, making them less likely to purchase the course. Also, avoid abbreviations since they can mean various things to different people and across industries. The final thing to avoid is repetition throughout your description.

Factors you should include are relevant keywords and action phrases. You should directly address the reader with either a question or statement that prepares them for the course content. A simple way to address the reader is to use “you” instead of speaking in the third person. This voice allows the learner to feel connected to you and the course, rather than simply just being a “student.”


Let’s check out an example of a description that meets most of the necessary requirements:

Good Description Example .png

The one issue with this example is the word count. Keeping your description word count between 40 to 160 words is crucial to learner engagement. Finding the balance between being informative and being concise is what guides learners to purchase your course. They should want to learn more from reading the description, not feel as if they’ve completed the course itself. This example is around 190 words, not too past the limit, but could be shortened to avoid redundancy.


Here is a revised version of the description:

This comprehensive, to the point course teaches your managers what they need to know about sexual harassment laws in the workplace. This shortened version of our “AB 1825: Sexual Harassment Prevention for Managers” course is perfect for those who want an educated management team, but do not have to meet the 2-hour requirement.

Providing tools to better understand sexual harassment, this course gives real life examples such as office relationships and how to deal with them. You will learn  how to prevent and remedy situations that may arise in your workplace.

Finally, this course provides examples of sexual harassment policies and how to properly present them to employees.

By taking this course, you will take away the necessary skillset to resolve issues of sexual harassment and product a healthy company culture.

Word Count: 131



Learning objectives are simple; they should be clear, concise, measurable statements explaining what learners will be able to take away from the course. They are competency-based, as a learner should know exactly what they need to do throughout the course to show mastery on the skills at hand.

Typically, an objective should be between 10 to 15 words with enough relevant information to engage the learner. For courses under an hour, 3 to 4 objectives should be given and for courses over an hour, 5 to 6 learning objectives should be given. This provides checkpoints for the learner to follow as they complete the course.


Let’s look at an example of great objectives that are engaging and to the point:

Good objectives.png


One issue with these objectives is the amount listed. For this 2-hour course, there should be  five to six, rather than eight.


Here are the revised objectives:

  • Recognize harassment, sexual harassment, and abusive conduct

  • Understand individual rights and responsibilities and the resources available to prevent harassment

  • Know a your role as a manager using  scenario based decision making

  • Understand best practices for prevention, reporting, investigation and resolution

  • Understand your obligation of defending participants in a complaint or investigation

Average Word Count: 10


Poorly written objectives make it hard for the learner to understand what progress they’ve made. Keeping objectives simple helps the learner understand exactly what they need to accomplish in order to be successful in the course content.

One final  issue to be mindful of  in both objectives and course descriptions, is special characters. In order for your course description and objectives to be used  with all learning management systems, you should avoid special characters like colons, parentheses, dollar signs, etc. The only characters every LMS can integrate are periods, commas, and apostrophes. This small trick helps those looking to purchase your courses easily integrate your description and objectives into their course catalog.


For a concise formatting overview, our guideline is attached below.


Course Descriptions%2FObjectives Guide [Sept 2016].jpgCourse Descriptions%2FObjectives Guide [Sept 2016] (1).jpg