Training and Development - How to prepare effective instructional objectives

Dr. Donna L. Roberts

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Instructional objectives are specific, definable and measurable statements outlining the behavior, knowledge, skill or attitude change which the training program attempts to facilitate. They are the detailed descriptions of the path toward achieving the program purpose or goal. The objectives break down the purpose into discrete and measurable steps which are attainable, results-oriented and time-bound.

Every aspect of training program is designed with the end, that is, evaluation, in mind. As such, the objectives serve to outline the specific behavioral change that will directly reflect the goals of the organization and will serve as the standards for program evaluation. The performance expectations of management should serve as a guide for determining specific objectives. It is expected that the training program will move participants to desired levels of proficiency and the objectives outline the steps in this progression. Thus, in preparing instructional objectives one must ensure that they outline training activities which support the broader purpose or goal.

In formulating the instructional objectives, consider the performance gap as determined in the needs assessment and conceptualize the progressive steps necessary to move employees from current levels to desired levels of competency. State these steps in clear and measurable ways related to the final goal. An example of an instructional objective related to a training of personalities in the workplaces is as follows:

At the end of the training session, participants will be able to determine appropriate courses of action in response to identified problem areas in the workplace, reflecting an understanding of the MBTI personality style preferences and their associated behavior.

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Writer and university professor researching media psych, generational studies, addiction psychology, human and animal rights, and the intersection of art and psychology.

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