As a trainer or teacher, how do you know if your learners have achieved your instructional goals? Ensuring achievement begins with a sound instructional design approach. The purpose of an instructional objective is to create evidence that learning has occurred and also to describe how learning will be measured.
This process begins by translating tasks and content generated in an instructional analysis into performance based goals. In other words, you’ve gathered the information and content needed and now you need to turn this information into learning goals. I like to think of the objectives as the bridge between the analysis step and the instructional design step.
To write an objective, it is important to pick an instructional format. According to Seels and Glasgow, authors of Exercises in Instructional Design, several objective formats are available including one designed by Gagne and Briggs, which includes a five-component performance objective:
- Situation: The condition or “given” of the learning situation. Example: “Given a list of questions.”
- Learning Capability: What the learner will be capable of or gain. Example: “The learner will conduct an employment interview.”
- Object: The content or task. Example: “The PROBE interviewing technique.”
- Action: How the learner will demonstrate the capability. Example: “By asking PROBE based questions that identify an event, role, or outcome.”
- Tool / Constraint: What will be available to the learner in terms of tools, resources, times constraints, etc. Example: “Within 15 minutes using the PROBE process.”
The Gagne and Briggs format can be used to create objectives resulting in any one of the following learning outcomes: intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, verbal information, motor skills, or attitudes.
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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Christina Lombardo, PCC, CPCC (Christina@LifeTrekCoaching.com)
LifeTrek Coaching International