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Friday, 24 April 2009


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Curt Will

Aren't you talking about the criterion element of a well constructed learning objectives? Robert Magers book "Preparing Instructional Objectives" lays it out pretty clear I think. It seems like those of us in the profession of workplace learning spent a lot of time renaming stuff that is already done.

Cauly Boe

I've been struggling with this issue for years, and it's one of my favorite hot buttons, so thanks for writing about it.

First of all, you say "we ought to have evaluation objectives rather than learning objectives" then say they "have to be linked." So are you proposing to replace one or are you saying to keep both?

And if you are suggesting both should be kept, then how are they presented to the learner? Both at the same time? The traditional one at the traditional spot and the evaluation one after the lesson?

michelle mcshortall

I agree with Curt, we do spend time renaming stuff that's already there, e.g. the criterion element of a well constructed learning objective. But it is about timing also, post learning is a good time to encourage our learners to reflect and plan on how they might use what they've just learned. Encouraging learners to set transfer and application goals themselves is worthwhile, but often better positioned post learning experience.

Will Thalheimer

I'm going to have more to say about this within a few days. I need to clarify some misconceptions.

Two short notes:
1. Evaluation objectives are NOT simply a rehash of Mager's criterion standard, THOUGH they do follow that excellent advice.

2. Instructional objectives should NOT serve two masters at the same time. We, as learning professionals should be guided by some objectives, AND OUR LEARNERS should be guided by OTHER objectives.

More later...

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The learner will be able to describe how people tend to resist change.Or, put in a more performance-oriented fashion, a traditional objective might read:

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Evaluation objectives are NOT tied to individual learning points that have to be learned, though of course they are linked because both should be relevant to the overarching goals of the learning program.

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