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Specify Learning Objectives

Before beginning to train, the facilitator and the planning group must be clear about why they are going to do the training and what they want to communicate.

They will formulate general objectives for the whole training event and specific objectives for each session within the workshop. An important point is to write objectives describing what the participants will be able to do as a result of the training rather than what the facilitator will do.

Objective from the facilitator’s viewpoint:

“To inform participants of international instruments for protecting children against landmines.”

Same objective written from the participants’ viewpoint:

“Participants will be able to describe the main international instruments that can be used to protect children against landmines.”

The latter format is much more useful for the participants, as they will gain a clearer understanding of what they will achieve through the training.

The planning group should also check whether they are any hidden objectives on the part of the participants (such as “no interest in the subject but they wanted to get away from the office”, “they were sent by their manager”, etc.).

Analyse and Break Down Learning Objectives

Learning objectives usually need to be broken down into more-detailed objectives in order to help the facilitator and planning group design appropriate learning activities. Facilitators can ask themselves: “What would learners need to be able to do in order to develop, through further practice, the required performance?” The objectives should be as specific as possible: phrases like “to know”, “to appreciate” are impossible to measure. Phrases like “to plan”, “to make”, “to identify” are more concrete and therefore easier to evaluate.

The objectives should always be realistic and achievable to avoid any sense of personal failure on the part of the participants or the facilitator.