The Role of Instructional Design Once a training specialist has written the course's learning objectives and confirmed…
We are ready to write our Learning Objectives This is a short blog, and I hope you read what I have to say, but I really have to direct you to a great website from Iowa State University. This website has an interactive model for learning objectives that is just fantastic. I have it in my favorites and I’ve used it on multiple occasions to explain learning objectives to a client.
What is a Learning Objective?
At the end of the analysis phase, all of the data collection and analysis comes together into a cohesive, concise document that describes the course’s learning objectives.
There are several different styles of learning objectives, and each uses a specific linguistic formula. However, learning objectives generally contain the following elements:
- An observable task that a learner will be able to perform at the end of the course
- The conditions utilized to perform the task
- The criteria that will be used to measure a learner’s success
Here’s an example of a learning objective: “At the end of the course, the learner will be able to process three sample customer orders within fifteen minutes without any errors.”
Check the Course’s Destination
The learning objectives serve as a major quality assurance checkpoint in the ADDIE instructional design methodology. In many ways, the learning objectives are like the “destination check” that you hear when you board a commercial airline flight.
The flight attendant might announce, “This is Flight 5371 to Austin, Texas.” If you’re not heading to Austin, you’ve got a chance to get off the plane before they close the doors and push away from the gate.
In the same way, the learning objectives announce the course’s destination. The training specialist will use these learning objectives to build the course’s instructional design—including content, activities and tests.
After Intulogy’s training specialists write the learning objectives for a course, we present them to the client. We ask the client to review the learning objectives and assess whether their training needs are properly understood and represented.
If your course doesn’t have a clear set of learning objectives, you will run into two risks.
First, the instructional designer will have to guess the course’s goals and learning objectives. That’s like telling an airline pilot to fly to California. A competent pilot could fly the plane safely to any of a dozen major airports, but what’s the best destination? Vague objectives lead to imprecise results.
Second, when you don’t have clear learning objectives, your learners are like passengers who board a plane and just hope that it will take them to the right city. Will the course actually meet their needs and help them achieve the company’s business goals?
Once we’ve confirmed the courses learning objectives, the training specialists will be ready to proceed to the next phase of the ADDIE model—instructional design.