25 Replies
Jeanette Brooks

If you can find or create a relevant image that ties closely to the course content, an Engage Labeled Graphic can be a refreshing and compelling way to express objectives. Below is an example (click here to see a published mock-up) and the source file's attached, in case that helps.

Kevin Dowd

Thank you Udit!

Does anyone have experience snazzing up objectives that aren't tangiable?  I.E. when they start with words like "diagnose," "distinguish," and "recognize."

The FAQ engage idea wouldn't really work because my courses are about 20 minutes long, so there is really no need to further build out the objectives.

Many thanks,

Heidi

Lori K

I am struggling with the same issue which is how I found this thread.   I was thinking of adding characters, having them asking each other questions that nobody can answer, reach a point of confusion, call the 'expert' for help, then have the narrator act as professor and write the objectives on a white board and begin the course.  These same characters ask questions to change topics to cover each of the objectives.

However, it's cheesy. 

David Anderson

Hi Lori -

While I understand the objectives are less measurable, is your content focused on something that can be measured?

Is there an emotional reason you can target for why the content is important?

Here's an example of a simple image that, combined with the right words, can be a powerful course opening. In this case, it would be used for insurance agents learning about their supplemental insurance offerings and why families should consider purchasing additional coverage.

Bob S

Lori and Heidi,

One thing I've done in the past when faced with "squishy" objectives, is to start straight away with a pre-test.

I make it challenging enough that it's unlikely anyone will pass without learning the specifics contained in your course. It serves as a wake-up call for what they don't know and why they neeed to focus.

I certainly put some soft language in the feedback page that couches the fact that they didn't have all the answers yet. And in the unlikely case that they do pass, I put in language to the effect of "Congrats, you have a firm grasp on XXX already. By taking this short course you will add to your...."

Just a thought,

Bob

Lori K

Thanks, Dave.

My objectives are "recognize", "describe", etc.  They are only measurable by the assessment at the end of the course.  There is nothing the attendes should do after taking the course, it's only to raise awareness. 

I like what you did in your example. 

There are no such emotional consequences for this, however, there are implications of not doing your job very well, and wasting other people's time along with your own, and wasting the company's money if you don't pay attention, which I have received from the SME. 

This course is an overview for many different disciplines/departments, which will be given instructor led training according to their job description later.  That's where they will focus the 'how to' objectives since they will be different for the different departments and positions.  The take away for the engineer will be different than it will be for the project manager, purchasing agent, etc.

I want to weave in the different postitions and how they will eventually use this information throughout the course, using each to ask questions pertaining to what they need to know in order to do their partiular job, so in this way the objectives are covered and the flow of the narrator rattling on gets broken long enough to acknowledge learner.    I was thinking of perhaps a carousel engage interaction, introducing the different positions and how they likely will use this information after receiving the ILT portion.  The SME has written this part for two of the three lessons, and I think it helps for people to know where to focus.  I don't have enough information for learners to pick a character, make decisions, see the consequences, and eventually lead to the lessons that everyone can take.  Again, that would be better with 'do' objectives instead of 'know' objectives.

Right now  have some of the characters introduced in the beginning carousel interaction asking questions throughout the course, and the senior engineer telling them what they need to know and where to find it.  Alternately, it could start with one charcter calling the next, they don't know the answer but have realized they have a situation where they need to know as well, and eventually they walk over to the senior engineer's office and request a huddle or meeting.   Having narration and linear navigation are two of the requirements (or at least taking the lessons in order), so I was trying to make dry content interesting.  The narrator/senior engineer sort of takes them into his office and gives them an overview, and writes the objectives on the white board first.

I am just using photos.  I'm trying to work out how to weave this into a story and not have it seem...well...silly.  (Well, silly would be good if I could really cheese it up and make it funny, but I don't think that will fly except between me and the SME). 

Sorry this is so long!  I meant to offer it as an idea, and am curious as to how others have done something like this in technical training with 'soft' objectives, and made it look good and work well.

Lori

Steve Flowers

Hi Lori,

You might consider reframing the objectives as questions. When I'm dealing with foundation level concepts and information this helps to prime the experience. The formula used to construct the questions will vary by the audience and sometimes I won't go directly for the objective question. Setting the lead-in as more of a conversation can be a really natural way to pull folks in and make loose connections with prior experiences.

For example, if I knew this might play well with my audience I might lead off with:

  • "You might be wondering, why the heck am I here?"

Then following with a contextual setup like:

  • "Well, you know how management has been harping on x?"

or

  • "Have you ever been in situation y?"

These transitional queries can progress into a listing of questions that the learner will be able to answer (to some standard) when they've finished the experience:

  • What are the different types of X?
  • How should I communicate with coworkers about A?
  • What are the rewards and benefits of Z?
  • How can I help others do B?
  • What does it mean to be D?
  • What information is available on Y and where can I find it?

This way you're at least trying to start a conversation between the learner and the experience. This type of setup doesn't always work, but I find it often provides a better framing for objectives than a three part instructional artifact.

Here's a great example of this type of conversation in action. This type of interaction chaining is quite a bit of work, but in some situations I think it's a dynamite way to engage the learner.

http://www.jellyvisionlab.com/examples.php

If you wanted to personify these cues and were worried that it would appear cheesy, sometimes that can work to your advantage if you can make it obvious that you are trying to be cheesy

Bob S

Hi Lori,

Just to be clear... I'm not suggesting a test-out option.

I'm suggesting using a quite challenging pre-test to set the bar for them and establish what they will learn in the course. 

When done correctly (ie harder than the actual post-test), it's rare that someone can pass the pre-test anyways. And if they do, they still must take the couse. In that case we just give a nod to them already having a headstart on what they are about to learn.

Hope that clarity helps,

Bob

Lori K

Thanks, Steve.

This is exactly the sort of thing I'm trying to do.  In this course, we have about 10 different positions that will ultimately use different parts of the information provided in different ways, i.e. what's critical to one, the other doesn't even need, so I either want to show how they are all related by having them ask each other questions, or show how they all use these documents differently but need to understand what they are doing because it impacts everyone if they don't at least have a basic undestanding. 

That's not really the objective of this course, but it's the real objective.

We have to have a slide that states the objectives, so I was hoping to use the conversations as a lead in, or the dilemmas the characters have on a engage interaction, and have the narrator state the objectives as he writes them on the white board of his office.

It would be so much nicer if the objectives slide wasn't a requirement, but it is.

Good point about the cheesy.  I think I'll have them pop up out of cubicles. I love that one!

Lori