We all include course objectives/outcomes on our syllabi, and I've even included them in each unit of various courses. . .all the while being pretty sure that students don't give them much credence.
This article entitled "How to Win Students and Influence Learning" demonstrates how to make course objectives seem real to students.
I think that as a student, I would pay attention to objectives written this way! Here is the example the author provided:
What can this course do for me, the student? This course can give me:
- At least two items for my job-seeking portfolio – gorgeous mind maps and a comprehensive statistical research project – demonstrating to employers my work ethic and the quality of my work.
- Life-long learning and study skills I can apply continually to get the best grades, land top jobs, and move quickly up the ladder.
- Opportunities for developing leadership and interpersonal skills in a team environment, winning the heart of almost any employer.
- Practical experience with computer-based technologies, increasingly essential for me to compete in today’s marketplace
- Problem-solving and critical thinking abilities that employers consider among the most important skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
- An understanding of statistics and research that will allow me to critically assess and understand the world of data around me.