How To Write Training Objectives For eLearning Effectively

No training, either offline or online, can be successful without realistic targets to follow and accomplish after the course. We’re all well aware of the importance of training objectives, but not many know how to define them clearly and properly. This article is our ultimate guide on how to write training objectives that fit your business goals effectively. Before that, let’s get started with some basic knowledge of online training objectives. 

How can good training objectives improve the course outcomes?

As its name suggests, training objectives express exactly what learners can achieve and perform after finishing the training period. 

Now, imagine if you are not clear on how to write learning objectives for training. This is how it will be when your internal training or eLearning course has no specific objective statement. The instructors might wander off the topics as they focus on nothing throughout the course. Whereas learners will get lost from the beginning, not knowing precisely what they can get after the course. This wastes the time of both and negatively affects the training outcome. 

So, online training objective statements play a critical role as:

  • They give course developers and instructors a stable direction for the training programs. It helps them pick the right training content and methods, structure and develop the training materials properly. 

In our consultation phase, F.Learning always advises suitable animation production based on clients’ direction. In particular, which animated types will work best for the training? Which parts or all the content should be delivered in animation? How can we optimize the process so that our production time can meet the timeline of the course launching? That’s why we always ask our partners to give a detailed answer to their training objectives.

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  • Objectives also give the foundation for assessments. Effective tests or assessments will ask learners to complete all training objectives, not something included in that statement. 
  • Regarding learners or employees, it allows them to know what to focus on and improve their performance throughout the course. 

When businesses market the eLearning courses, completed objective statements also give target learners a clear overview of the course. This encourages them to make their choice faster and more efficiently. Defining and writing training objective statements is always one of the must-do steps to develop a successful eLearning course. If clients are not sure of how to write learning objectives for training? F.Learning will work with them to complete it first. You just must not get by or skip them.

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How to write training objectives: three key components to include

A comprehensive objective learning statement must cover three critical components, which are performance, condition, and criteria. 

how to write training objectives

To clarify each factor, we suggest you answer the following questions

1. Performance: What will learners be able to achieve throughout the course?

E.g., Employees will be able to explain the concept of cybersecurity. 

There is a common mistake that many instructors make while writing training objectives from their own perspective. Please, note that the performance components show what the learners will be able to do and not what instructors are training. This ensures that you will create a course that meets the learners’ demand, not because you’re good at it.

2. Conditions: What do learners need to complete the course?

E.g., With the help of presentations or discussions, employees will be able to explain certain cases considered as cybersecurity. 

The conditions often include the amount of training content and any training tools such as ePDF, slideshows, or animation. This helps you to figure out the course structure and format that matches the content.

You can break down the whole course into multiple parts or modules and determine the suitable types to deliver each. To give you an idea, the explanation parts with images, charts, processes can be more easy-to-digest with animation video.  Interactive activities or further discussion will require the trainers’ appearance to increase in-person engagement. For assessment parts, you can choose true/false questions or animated simulations. 

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3. Criteria: How well learners must perform under the given conditions

E.g., Given 10 minutes, employees can complete exactly all of the multiple-choice questions on the test module.

It’s now your turn to define the criteria for your training course. In this statement, for example,  “complete test” is the performance, “Given 10 minutes” is the condition. And “exactly all of the multiple-choice questions on the test module” is the criterion.

How to write training objectives for online courses using Bloom’s Taxonomy

So we all agree that effective training objectives need to clarify all three components above. But how do you write training objectives to be that specified? Here, we recommend a technique using Bloom’s Taxonomy to write down particular training objective statements within three major steps. 

how to write training objectives
  • Remembering

This stage just requires learners to memorize and recall information from the course. You can use online tests such as true/ false or multiple choice to measure learners’ performance at this first level. 

Related action verbs: identity,  acquire, recognize, recall, distinguish, etc.

  • Understanding

At the next level, learners should be able to explain and give examples of the concepts, making classifications or comparisons. For online courses, you can ask learners to submit a summary of the topic in their words. This is a test for the understanding level of what they have learned. 

Related action verbs: translate, extrapolate, convert, interpret, etc.

  • Applying

Learners should know how to apply the knowledge or skills into the same situation as scenarios guided in the course. In eLearning, instructors often place employees and trainers in a virtual so that they can put their skills into practice. 

Related action verbs: apply, operate, carry out, plan, solve, repair, etc.

  • Analyzing

At this stage, learners can organize information and make a comprehensive analysis of the input. As online training, you can request learners to analyze their virtual performance based on the available information about them. 

Related action verbs: estimate, discover, catalog, determine to discriminate, detect, etc.

  • Evaluating

Learners now can make quantitative or qualitative evaluations based on given standards.

Related action verbs: compare, contrast, convince, defend, determine, evaluate, grade, judge, support, etc.

  • Creating

At the highest level, learners can build a structure or a pattern by generating, planning, producing, and reorganizing diverse elements.

Related action verbs: build, compose, create, design, develop, generate, invent, modify, etc.

#2 Add criteria to measure performance

Do not just write that there will be an assessment or a test at the end of the course. Instead, specify its details, as well as make clear how frequent the tests will be if possible. 

For instance, a sales eLearning course requires employees to complete a simulation test at the end of the training. This will show how learners interact with customers using skills given through the course. So, the learning objective is that learners can apply given skills to deal with customers’ problems in simulation tests.    

Please note that each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy should match with different criteria.

LevelKeywordsTraining objective example
Rememberinglist, recall, identify, recognize, acquire, distinguishThe learners should be able to list down the guideline for writing learning objectives
Understandingdescribe, translate, extrapolate, convert, interpretThe learners should be able to describe the guideline in his/her own words
Applyingapply, operate, carry out, plan, solve, repairThe learners should be able to write a learning objective base on the guideline
Analyzingestimate, discover, catalog, determine discriminate, detectThe learners should be able to differentiate between the learning objective of each cognition level
Evaluatingcompare, contrast, convince, defend, determine, evaluate, grade, judge, supportThe learners should be able to determine whether using Bloom’s taxonomy or the ABCD method is better in each situation
Creatingbuild, compose, create, design, develop, generate, invent, modifyThe learners should be able to make a simplified guideline for writing learning objectives

#3 Revise the training objectives

After completing learning objective statements, you still need to recheck whether these objectives are realistic & aligned with your business goals. 

If it’s your employee training course: you should revise objectives towards future goals of your business. Define what your business expects to achieve, for example, in the next 6 months? And then, confirm whether your learning objectives can help your organization achieve its goals or not. If eLearning courses are your business’s products: as we’ve mentioned, make sure that the objectives meet the learning demand of audiences. This encourages them to take your courses so that you can boost your profits.

Conclusion

Hope that this hands-on guide about how to write training objectives can work effectively for your training courses. The more detailed and measurable training objectives, the more your training and learning activities will be focused and effective. As this affects the eLearning course outcomes significantly, write your training objectives carefully and properly. 

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