Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes? Totally specific tailored to the purpose objectives?

What’s in a name?  All that twaddle around hyped up training terminology can bring a trainer down… Myself, I have always been fond of really precise, tailored learning outcomes. What’s the difference between learning outcomes and learning objectives?

Personally speaking, and there seems to be no international consensus, objectives are more what you aim to achieve within the parameters of the training room, more lesson focussed. I use learning outcomes to focus on what a delegate will be able to actually do following a course. Objectives and outcomes are used interchangeably having said that.

A confession: learning outcomes are necessarily ambitious, best phrased as ‘can do’ rather than ‘will do’ as who could control another’s actions. They are difficult to measure where clients don’t book an optional learner cohort check in and higher level evaluation services amongst other longer term support options. Nevertheless, it is surely entirely the point of conducting training in the first place; that some key activities will impact how and what delegates achieve following the session. That’s certainly why I attend workshops anyway!

I recently read an interesting blog on learning objectives – go to: http://www.work-learning.com/2015/01/video-on-lobjs.html.   Watch the video.  I won’t attempt to capture it here. Really well researched and challenging stuff that made me question standard practices.  At the same time it is decidedly complex.  It will make me think, even more, about the words I use when I’m phrasing learning outcomes, bearing in mind the words I want participants to focus on.  I’m still minded to concentrate on what people will be able to do as a result of the course, after the course.  Perhaps that’s just me. What do you think?