Aims and Objectives

Why have objectives?

Objectives are the means by which a trainer can decide what must be achieved from a particular session or course and can then measure how successful it’s been. Objectives ensure that training is for a specific reason and is economic as well as effective.

A learner has a need which the trainer must try to satisfy – the need to learn. The skill is identifying the need. You must decide what you are aiming for, what goals are you trying to reach and how will you measure your learner’s achievements to see whether the goal has been reached.

Without clearly defined aims and objectives it will be impossible to evaluate the results of the training, difficult to select the material to be used and also difficult to decide on the best methods and techniques. You must ask the question “What am I doing this for?” rather than “what am I going to tell them?”

What is an objective?

An objective is a written statement in precise unambiguous terms of what the learner will be able to do as a result of the training.

A training objective is the specific knowledge, skills, or attitudes that the trainees are to gain as a result of the training activity. An objective is usually measurable and should be achievable.

“Measurable intended end result of a training program expressed in terms of (1) the desired behaviour or skill level, (2) conditions under which it has to occur, and (3) the benchmark against which it will be measured”. Business Dictionary

Typically, learning objectives should:

  • Be written in the future tense;
  • Use active verbs to describe what the learner will be able to do and to enable the learner to show their knowledge and understanding;
  • Avoid using verbs whose meaning is ambiguous;
  • Describe the final output or achievement for the learner;
  • Use clear language that is easily understood by learners and non-experts;
  • Be achievable as a result of the learning activity;
  • Be able to be assessed;
  • Be specific