Learning Objectives and GPS

Your supervisor stops by and says they’re super busy. They need you to take care of something they don’t have time to do. After showing you that “Everything you need is in this folder” they thank you for your help and walk off. You have no idea how to do the task you were just assigned. That’s how learners can feel if training’s learning objectives aren’t set up well.

There are really two main types of learning objectives.

Terminal objectives, which are basically the end goals, are the “big picture” of what the learner needs to be able to do. Let’s say that the task your supervisor gave you was to, “Fill out this spread sheet.” That’s a terminal objective. Enabling objectives, which have a lot of other names, are the step-by-step milestone goals the learner needs to meet in order to reach a terminal objective. This is what your supervisor didn’t provide. Things like, “List the potential leads from the trade show notes in column C of the spreadsheet and put them in alphabetical order” are enabling objectives.

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