Why Learning Objectives?

Why go to the bother of writing learning objectives for your training program? Our business sees many programs that simply wear participants out by being “nine miles long and one inch thick” with little opportunity to engage learners and practice skills and in the end serving no useful purpose for the organization paying for the program. These programs have a heavy emphasis on what needs to be “taught” with little regard to what participants will need to be able to do when they get back to their job. What is missed in a lot of cases is a focus on writing effective learning objectives that are tied to real organizational needs.Do you want to learn more? Visit Huntington Learning Center of Abington.

What is a “learning objective”? What is called a “learning objective” is variously named “learning outcome” and “learner objective”. Sometimes the term “student” or “participant” is used in place of “learner”. In any case, a “learning objective” is what the training participant is intended to have actually learned at the conclusion of the training program. “Learning” encapsulates new beliefs, new attitudes and new practical skills and the unlearning of outmoded beliefs, attitudes and skills.

What are the benefits of defining and articulating a well-constructed learning objectives statement? I see the benefits for your program as including the following:

Learners can focus more easily on what is important to their actual workplace performance.
Learning objectives form a solid basis for sequencing and chunking program content and activities.
Participants’ managers can be assured that training addresses actual organizational goals.
Learning objectives determine the relevance of program design features and content, allowing trainers to weed out easily what are just peripheral sideshows.
Trainers can better focus on the key deliverables of the training program, without being too sidetracked to the detriment of the program.
Learning objectives allow learner tests to be checked for relevance and completeness.
The writing of well-specified learning objectives plays a central role in any training program. Formulating and documenting such objectives serves to guide the activities of all of the people involved in its development and delivery; course designers and developers, participants’ managers, trainers and the learners themselves.