At the end of this blog post you will be able to …

… or will you?

Good debates about learning objectives in the Learning and Skills Group:

http://learningandskillsgroup.ning.com/forum/topics/learning-outcomes-vsobjectives

and from Charles Jennings:

http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/topic/strategy/who-needs-learning-objectives

My view (in a reply to the L&SG discussion):

You can’t simply state ‘you will be able to ..’ – that comes from a mechanistic view that was prevalent in the days of behaviourist psychology. They may be able to … IF they pay attention, IF they want to learn it, IF nothing interferes or interrupts, IF they get a chance to practise afterwards etc etc.

So what to say? This is harder. I tend to say in elearning ‘In this module we’ll look at …’ or ‘we’ll cover how to …’. In other words I stick to what I’m responsible for, not what they’re responsible for.

I’m aware this isn’t perfect, and some may look for a more definite statement. Another option, which I haven’t used, would be to say ‘If the module is successful, you should be able to …’

That said, ‘will be able to …’ objectives are important in the design phase, no doubt in my mind about that.

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