The Importance of Establishing Learning Objectives13th November 2020
In simple terms, a learning objective outlines what learners should know or be able to do by the end of the respective session or program. Typically, trainers can set a broad set of learning objectives for the entire training program, and then devise specific learning objectives that cater to the purpose behind each training session. As one might notice, even in a train the trainer program, a list of learning objectives is present for the trainees to gauge what will be included and how the program will benefit them in the short and long term. Learning objectives are a commonly used terminology that prevails in the spectrum of training and education, and this blog considers some of the main reasons why establishing learning objectives are important:
- Sets a purpose: Needless to say, when learners are aware of a particular objective, they obtain a sense of direction. Indeed, when the learners get an understanding of what will be covered in the sessions and the program as a whole, they will first realise the benefits of the program, and will also be able to prepare beforehand. This is much better than stepping into a session without any idea regarding what is going to be covered. Not only will the trainees feel lost, but they may also be demotivated to attend the sessions as adult learners tend to enjoy purpose and a justification behind performing any action.
- Guides the trainers: When the trainers set an objective for their training program and sessions, they themselves secure an understanding of what can be covered in the lessons and the activities that can be conducted to meet those objectives. For example, if the trainer aims to teach persuasive speaking skills, then keeping that objective in mind, s/he will be able to design activities that involves persuasive speaking and communication. Just like the trainees, the trainers also receive a sense of direction and they can structure their lessons against the backdrop of the set learning objectives.
- Guides testing and assessment strategies: When a fixed set of objectives are present, the trainer can accordingly design assessment and testing strategies that will align with the learning objectives. If there are no solid objectives, then the trainers will be lost when it comes to assessing the trainees as they will not know what areas to assess them upon. In fact, by setting objectives, the trainers will be able to assess the learners’ progress against those objectives, and hence ensure if effective learning is taking place.
- Helps with precision: As it happens, as learning objectives offer a sense of direction and purpose, the trainers know exactly what has to be covered. This keeps them from beating around the bush or from getting diverted to irrelevant topics that is not in line with the objectives. In fact, the presence of a clear objective will help the trainers fall in line every time the sessions or discussions get off-topic. This naturally saves time and also facilitates more impactful learning.
Typically, a train the trainer program aims to cover the importance of learning objectives and they also delve into how to effectively design a learning objective. That said, trainers really need to design concise and relevant learning objectives in order for them to realise the aforementioned benefits. If the learning objectives are not brief and specific then the trainers may end up being as lost as the trainees, and s/he will struggle to deliver a structured lesson.
Written By : Shivangi Chakraborty