As I suggest in these publications, “sticky objectives” should replace traditional instructional objectives for trainees and for their managers. Instructional objectives can be helpful for trainers to use for instructional design; however, before-training and beginning-of-training objectives should specify what the participant should know how to do and be able to do after training, in their job. These “sticky objectives” signal to the participant what they should do with what they are learning.
Transforming instructional objectives into sticky objectives usually involves just a few subtle yet specific changes in wording. The action verbs below which are linked with Bloom’s Taxonomy** application level can help to transform your instructional objectives into sticky objectives that your participants, their managers, and senior leaders see before, during, and after the training. Naturally, the specific wording will depend on the skills/information being learned.
Start by taking each instructional objective for your training. Delete “at the completion of this class” if this phrase or a similar one is there. Replace it with “In your job” or “on the job”. Then add an action verb from the list below, and complete the sentence with a description of the skill the participant should use on the job:
For example: Upon completion of this training In your job, you should be able to identify the most appropriate leadership style for a particular employee and use it to obtain desired results.
Note: In some cases you may want to customize some objectives for particular groups of participants. For example, in a management training program a group of supervisors on the shop floor may have slightly different objective(s) than a group of sales supervisors.
If you start with action verbs like these, the rest of the objective will usually fall into place.
Action Verbs based on Bloom’s Taxonomy application level
Special thanks to Julie at the Association for Iowa Continuing Nursing Education Fall Conference for suggesting this topic.
Until Next Time…
**P.S. Where did Bloom’s Taxonomy come from? In 1956 a team of faculty members at the University of Chicago under the leadership of Benjamin Bloom were seeking to help educators move beyond rote learning of facts. They developed a taxonomy, or levels, of learning. These levels of learning are frequently used in educational settings including workplace learning. The levels are: knowledge (recall), comprehension (understand), application (use), analysis (analyze), and evaluate (judge or assess). Bloom and his team also identified three domains of learning: cognitive (thinking and evaluating), psychomotor (physical and perceptual), and affective (feelings and preferences, values). For more information from a variety of sources, Google Bloom’s Taxonomy.