AIA Kansas Continuing Education: How to Write Quality Learning Objectives

How to Develop an AIA/CES Course Title:

When developing a title for your AIA/CES course, make sure it encompasses the overall course theme and summarizes what the attendee will learn in a few words. This clarity is important because the title is the only course information displayed on the AIA member’s transcript, and it proves to state licensing boards that the course is indeed a quality continuing education course.

How to Develop an AIA/CES Course Description:
(The course description cannot be the same as the 4 learning objectives.)

The course description should contain a brief overview of your course. If you choose one of the topics in the course directory field, this description will allow users to perform searches on your courses.

How to Develop AIA/CES Learning Objectives:
(The 4 learning objectives cannot be the same as the course description.)

A learning objective is an explicit statement that clearly expresses what the participant will learn or be able to do after taking the course. It is an observable and measurable participant outcome statement. Learning objectives should be concise and concrete, so they are open to limited interpretation. Learning objectives should begin with, “At the end of this program, participants will be able to…”

Writing learning objectives is where design and developing an educational program begins. Learning objectives help students clarify their personal goals for a course and give them a framework against which to measure their success.


Sample action verbs
abstract calculate create discuss implement move rank summarize
acquire carry out criticize dissect indicate name recall support
adjust catalog defend distinguish inspect observe recognize systematize
agree clarify define employ instruct offer relate taste
analyze classify demonstrate estimate integrate order repair test
apply combine derive evaluate investigate organize represent theorize
appraise compare describe examine join participate reproduce transform
argue compute design explain judge perform resolve translate
assess conclude detect explore justify plan restate use
avoid construct discover formulate label praise sequence utilize
bend contrast determine help list predict solve verify
breakdown cooperate differentiate identify master prepare specify weigh
build convert discriminate illustrate measure propose state write
Sample verbs to avoid
appreciate know
be aware of learn
become acquainted with realize
comprehend study
cover understand

Learning Unit (LU) Guidelines:
All approved provider courses are eligible for general course LUs. General course LUs are reserved for courses on a wide range of topics, in which 75 percent of the course content is not related to HSW and/or SD course topics. The total number of course LUs in advertisements and on certificates of completion should be written as (# hours_ LU Hour). For example, if your course is one hour in length, it would be written as 1 LU Hour. The AIA/CES continuing education program is directed exclusively to architect, engineer, and construction industry (AEC) professionals and primarily serves AIA architect members.  A course approved for the Learning Unit (LU) designation must be applicable to the architecture industry and benefit or enhance an architect’s practice. In addition, approved courses should help architects to, Acquire new knowledge or skills, Build upon or expand current knowledge or skills, Stay up to date on new developments in the field, Learn best practices, Advance their careers by teaching content that will lead to additional certifications or degrees, think creatively and develop new ideas.  Furthermore, Learning Unit courses must be implemented and delivered with the intent to teach and must be strictly educational in nature. Therefore, product or services promotions are not permitted at any time during a course.


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