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Learning and development programs help organizations generate a more highly skilled and productive workforce, which in turn, drives business outcomes and generates revenue. Only carefully designed learning programs will help organizations achieve these goals, however. Program designers should build such programs based on effective course design practices.
A learning objective should drive the course module. It should be built on a statement that summarizes what the learner will acquire in terms of knowledge, attitude and skill once the instruction is complete. In essence, the objective should be centered around the learner. Learning designers should be careful to avoid stating what activities the instructor will perform, as opposed to what the student will accomplish.
From the summary statement, course designers should next outline the specific tasks or steps involved in meeting the outcome. From these steps, designers can decide how many sub-modules to create. For example, if the learner should acquire the skill of writing a memo, the course may actually involve a five-step course module that breaks down the components or skills involved.
The training course should be built around learning objectives that contain critical components. Namely, SMART learning objectives should be:
Organizations should follow this strategy when creating learning objectives:
Creating learning objectives for training programs helps designers achieve their end goal: Creating highly skilled employees who can help the organization meet business goals. Ultimately, by building programs based on the learning objectives, the organization can be assured that they follow a carefully constructed, strategic progression that connects assessment and content to learning activities. With a clear understanding of what learners will do in each module, organizations can confidently drive the program’s success.