7 Tips To Create Targeted Online Training Objectives

How To Create Targeted Online Training Objectives

Targeted online training objectives are succinct statements that shape the entire online training experience. They are measurable, realistic, and actionable. Employees can use online training objectives to set their sights on the desired outcome and learn what’s expected of them, while organizations rely on them to set training standards and gauge proficiency. Well written online training objectives lay the foundation for every online training activity, online assessment, and collaborative exercise. Here are 7 tips to help you craft targeted online training objectives for your next corporate eLearning course.

1. Begin At The End

Everything leads up to the desired outcome. As such, before you start writing your targeted online training objectives you must determine what you want to achieve and how. Are you trying to develop a specific skill? Is there a performance gap that must be bridged? Do your corporate learners need information that can help them in the real world? Create a list that includes all the desired outcomes for each online training course. You should also consider what your corporate learners know now and what they need to accomplish upon completion. For example, if corporate learners already know which safety equipment to use, you won't need to include that in your outcome. Instead, you can use this preexisting knowledge as a starting point and build from there.

2. Identify Criteria

This is one of the essential elements that many people overlook when writing targeted online training objectives. You know what you need to achieve, but how are you going to measure it? You must develop a set of criteria to evaluate employee performance and progress. For example, conducting online assessments or on-the-job observations after each online training course. Specify how often they will be tested, by whom, and which type of diagnostic tools you are using. If you are evaluating skill development and task proficiency, you may have to use more qualitative methods. This includes online training simulations and branching scenarios that give employees the chance to apply their knowledge in lifelike situations.

3. Set Minimum Requirements

eLearning professionals have to "set the bar" so that employees know what's expected of them. This usually involves standards that outline the minimum requirements for the online training course. For example, the lowest grade they can score on an online assessment or the longest time allotment to complete an online task. These online training standards should also specify time frames, evaluation methods, and the consequences if minimums are not met. This approach usually motivates employees who are reluctant to participate in online training activities, as they want to avoid negative repercussions. Though this may not be the ideal source of motivation, it helps to ensure that standards are upheld across the board. In addition, employees should be accountable if they do not meet the performance standards. So, make sure that the consequences are realistic and actionable.

4. Keep It Conditional

Targeted online training objectives should specify the conditions that surround the task or skill that employees will learn. For example, where the process is performed, the tools involved, and which steps are necessary. In the case of skill building, the conditions may include additional traits or abilities that are required. Online training conditions are also an essential component. The online training objectives must identify powerful Learning Management Systems and Authoring tools, online resources, and online training materials employees can use to expand their knowledge. This is the time to gather all of your online assets and determine which online training activities are ideally suited for the job. You can also meet with a Subject Matter Expert to discuss the best course of action and narrow down the subject matter.

5. Be Clear About Prerequisites

Employees already have preexisting knowledge when they begin the online training course. However, their talents, skills, and abilities differ, depending on their job duties and professional experience. Thus, you must clearly state what knowledge they need to participate in the online training program. This also gives them the opportunity to take additional online training courses beforehand so that they are on-par with their peers. That being said, if none of your employees meet the prerequisites, you may have to develop supplemental online training materials. As an example, microlearning tutorials or online presentations that cover the basics.

6. Narrow Down Your Audience

This is possibly the most important aspect of your targeted online training objectives, as it identifies who the online training course is intended for. Employees in your customer service department won’t necessarily need the same online training as members of your IT staff. Therefore, you need to be clear on which groups will benefit from the online training course. In fact, you should really take it a step further by outlining how they will benefit. This serves two vital purposes. Firstly, it ensures that the right employees are enrolling in the online training course. They don’t have to waste their time on online training that is irrelevant for them and their job duties. Secondly, it motivates your target audience by emphasizing the advantages of active participation. If they are reluctant to enroll, the online training objective spells out exactly why they should be open to the online training experience.

7. Choose The Right Verbs

Targeted online training objectives aren’t complete without an action verb. Perform, operate, and build are prime examples of action verbs that can focus employee efforts. Ideally, the verb should identify what the employee needs to do by the end of their online training. For instance, perform a specific task or build a necessary skill set. There is no room for ambiguity when you choose your words.

Targeted online training objectives involve a few key ingredients. But if you can get the recipe just right, your corporate eLearning program can thrive for years to come. Use these 7 tips to write productivity-boosting online training objectives that drive employee motivation and focus their efforts.

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