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How to set the training objectives in e-Learning

Training objectives are the set of skills that learners should acquire at the end of a training course. How do we identify them correctly given that they are the base of the entire the training architecture?

In general, the educational objectives of a course are introduced with the phrase: "At the end of this course the participants will be able to ..." This is particularly true for academic courses or for company training that deals with technical skills. When it comes to soft skills, such as leadership skills, team work, or a welcome course for new recruits, how do you determine "scientifically" how more “leaders” will the learners become? The secret is to use specific and measurable objectives, in every type of training both in classroom and online. The activities and the success of a training course are based on them.

What are the training objectives

Training objectives are the results to be achieved through actions that must be observed or must be measured at the end of a course through a test and in a given period of time. Unlike the general objective of the course, which is the purpose for which training is carried out, the training objectives must be specific and serve to measure a specific competence. They must also be reachable, so no mission impossible, and respond to the needs of the course beneficiaries. The set of specific objectives helps to achieve the general objective of training.

Bloom's Taxonomy to classify training goals

One of the most used tools in e-Learning to set training goals is the Bloom's Taxonomy, created by the American education psychologist Benjamin Bloom in 1956. This model classifies the training objectives in categories ranging from the simplest to the most complex. In the first step, students are able to remember course information while at a higher level of knowledge they can make decisions and make assessments.
To help trainers explain the training objectives of a course, a list of active verbs has been added to Bloom's Taxonomy that indicate with simple words what the student will be able to do after the course:

  • Knowledge: students will be able to define, remember course information
  • Understanding: thinking, explaining
  • Application: apply, use
  • Analysis: analyse, compare
  • Summary: organize, build
  • Evaluation: determine, judge

When to create the training objectives in e-Learning

The first step for building the training objectives of a course is to analyse the training needs of the beneficiaries. In practice, we must ask ourselves what kind of training your target needs and what skills it needs to strengthen. To avoid repetition, it is also good to know about previous training courses that were followed. Once training objectives have been developed, the course structure is designed and the material is looked for. So, even before you think about the video or audio to use in the online course you need to have clear ideas about what the students shall be able to do after the course.

Why are training goals so important in an online course?

In the process of designing an online course, the educational objectives are a necessary and essential step:

  • They help to investifgate the training gap of the beneficiaries
  • They are the starting point for wondering what needs to be done to achieve the objectives, with what means, at what time.

Outlining the training objectives in a clear manner ensures that all the course architecture is stable, as this is the starting point for the planning of activities, tools, budgets and time frames.

The training objectives are specific and measure the skills that learners must acquire after training. They contribute to the general objective of the course and are divided into several categories, from knowledge to evaluation of information. To set goals correctly it is essential to start from the training needs of the beneficiaries. Thanks to the specific objectives, the activities to be performed and the related tools and budgets can be identified.

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