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The Trainer's Handbook by Karen Lawson

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Chapter 5Writing Instructional Objectives

What Are Learning Objectives?

After the needs assessment has been completed and the data gathered, analyzed, and reported to the appropriate people, the next step is to design the training program. The first step in the design process is to write learning objectives.

Learning objectives or outcomes state what the learner will be able to do at the end of the training program or at the end of a phase of training. They describe the planned outcome of the training rather than the training process—results rather than procedure.

Why Set Objectives?

Objectives serve as a type of contract. If participants know the program or session objectives from the beginning, they will know what they are expected to learn. Objectives give participants a sense of direction. They know what to expect from you and what you expect from them.

Objectives serve as the basis for the design and development of the program, that is, the instructional plan. They help the trainer focus clearly on the desired outcomes and determine what the participants need to know and do in order to meet those objectives. The concept of designing a training program is analogous to planning a trip: the objectives are the ...

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