Write the Learning Objectives

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 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 ILLAFTrain'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?

Next Steps:

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.