Since my last post, “Learning Objectives Are Out; User Stories Are In,” I’ve received a recurring question: “Aren’t they really just the same?”
My answer is clearly “no.” Since the question was so common I thought best to lay it out.
Here are the two main differences between User Stories & Learning Objectives:
- Learning Objectives (LOs) tell the learner what they will do (push); User Stories are written from the student’s (customer) perspective and written about the need (pull)
- LOs do not necessarily focus on the benefit (value) the learner will receive by participating in the course; User Stories explain the value and are focused directly on performance, see the User Story template: As a <persona>, I want <some goal> so that <some reason (benefit or result)>
There are similarities, yes. For example, they both aim to set expectations and serve as a basis for evaluation and learning activities. The differences aren’t large in quantity, but they are big when it comes to focus on the customer. When we put the customer first, we have the right strategy to expand our business and increase profitability.