Reasons to set clear objectives for your next training session

by Bob Colclough on June 24, 2012


So you’re setting up your course and you just remembered that you haven’t put in any objectives. You went on a train the trainer course at some time ago, and you do remember there was a lot of emphasis on clear training objectives.

But somehow your heart is not in it. Think again – here are some ideas on what you might gain from clear training objectives.

Clear training objectives give you a  better chance of having enough time to put the course together

One of the big problems with training is that you don’t have enough time to put together an effective training programme.

There is a common misconception that all training requires is some knowledge of the subject and a little time to put together some PowerPoint slides. Well it really isn’t true.

Training development takes time and sometimes a lot of time.

You will only stand a chance of getting the time put aside, if you sit down with the sponsor the training and really agree what they want. You need to identify the very specific required outcomes of the training. Then this gives you a much better chance to sketch out the course and identify how long it will take.

So the next time you’re given a one sentence training request. “Could you just put a course on health and safety together next week “, politely say. “We need to agree some details of this.”

Training objectives give you information on what should go into the course

We’re often asked by trainers, what they should include in the course. It might sound boring, but really what you include course depends most of all on the outcomes that you stated in the objectives.

Training objectives let your delegates know what to expect

Where often surprised to find that often training delegates are just told to attend training on particular subject.

What frame of mind, would you be in it you were just told the subject title?

So letting delegates know in advance what they can expect to gain from the course really does put them in a much better frame of mind at the start of the course. They can also prevent a situation where people attend expecting course content X, and in fact receive course content Y.

Delegates who start the course with a clear idea on what to expect will be more eager to settle down quickly. This makes life easier for you.

Training objectives give you a way to assess that your course is successful

All trainers need to feel that the training is successful for the delegates. There are broadly three ways to do this:

  • The end of course happy sheet where people give you their reactions to the course, you the trainer, and the course content.
  • Assessment, formal or informal, during the course.
  • Evaluation of the impact of new skills and knowledge – carried out in the workplace, months or weeks after the course.

All of these really require that you know in advance what you are trying to achieve.

If you do, then you can assess whether you’re being successful. This can have a big effect on your self-confidence.

All the evidence shows that self confidence in your own skills is crucial to further stress-free success.

What else do you need to consider in setting training objectives?

As you are reading this article, you are probably familiar with “Smart” objectives. But you may not have come across Bloom’s Taxonomy. Please see our later article on Blooms for an insight into the many benefits of using Blooms in your course planning and assessment.

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