Basic Instructor Training NavigationYour Objectives!

Defining your objectives for a training is a critical step in the whole development process. Why? Well, without a training objective instructors don't know exactly what it is to be taught, learners don't know what they are to learn, and managers don't know what they are investing their training dollars in. 

Think of training objectives as check points on a roadmap. Because if they are done correctly, it clearly defines your the route to get from point "A" to point "B", telling everyone how to get there. A training objective defines what is to be learned, how well it is to be performed, and under what conditions it is to be performed. Naturally, it goes without saying objectives must be clear, honest, complete, and unquestionably correct!

"A training objective must clearly state the task to be done, the conditions under which training will take place and observed, and the standards of learning that should be accomplished."

A complete objective will contain a:

  • Task
  • Condition
  • Standard

The Task: (Description of Performance)

The first requirement is that the objective contain an action verb that describes doing something that can be seen and measured. Words such as the following do not possess a common, single meaning and are capable of different interpretations:

Comprehend  Know Contemplate
Fully understand Remember Perceive
Grasp significance of Have Faith in Believe in
Be aware of  Decide Recognize
Really appreciate  Enjoy   Experience
Have a feeling for Consider Examine

While these are legitimate goals, perhaps, but maybe a bit unclear and fuzzy around the edges.

How does an instructor see the action the student is taking when demonstrating that he or she can appreciate, has faith in, etc.? Furthermore, the student does have a clear understanding of just what he or she has to do either. Do not use these words to describe the task the student must perform.

The following words tells the student what they must do, they can be good action verbs for a training objective:

Inventory  Overhaul Measure Calculate Recover
Test Solve Write List Operate
Construct  Disassemble Detect Name Adjust
Identify Define Assemble Explain Install
Maintain Locate Remove Calibrate Replace
Authenticate Rewire Troubleshoot Repair Build

Determine the most accurate action possible. Verbally explaining is not as accurate as explaining in writing. The point is that both you and the student must agree on what you are going to have them do.


The conditions under which the behavior is to be observed. The objective will contain the conditions under which action will take place. The student deserves to know what he or she will be given, or not given, to do the task. The questions you need to ask yourself are, do the conditions affect task performance? 

If Yes. Do they affect the type and amount of training? Generally the types of conditions to be considered are as follows:

Training aids, handbooks, instructions, preprinted forms, environmental conditions and safety briefing, and other written documents. The student should be told what he or she will be given in order to complete the task.


The standard of performance is the last part of  a complete objective. This is what a student must achieve before he or she is considered to have satisfactory completed the objective.

In other words, "can they walk and chew gum at the same time without falling down."  

Now that you have a little more information about objectives, its also not seldom necessary for a course of instruction to taught to mastery level,  unless that is your intended objective. 

In most training environments, the students are taught how to do a task, but then they must practice on the job to be good at it. It's also not usually necessary or reasonable to expect the student to perform without error just to pass a course. Usually, you will set it to a level where the student is expected to solve a certain percentage of problems or meet specific accuracy standards, or to do things within a certain amount of time. These criteria (speed, accuracy, quantity) often become the standards. They tell the student how well and how fast he or she must complete the task. This should be presented to the students as part of the training objective's.

During the course we go more into developing training objectives. and the tools available for you to use to reach your goal of writing training objectives.

Next topic is methods of instruction go there now or go back to the top! It's your choice!


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