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Aims & Objectives for training
This is the first of a series of guidance notes that the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team will issue periodically on key training topics. The target audience for this guidance note is primarily aimed at training ‘professionals’, for example Justices’ Clerks, Legal Advisers and Training Managers. The note is written as a practical tool and provides working examples.
Why care about aims and objectives?
Aims and objectives are essential for designing effective training. Without understanding the purpose and expected results of the training, things can go badly wrong. If clearly defined aims and objectives are lacking, there is no sound basis for the selection or design of materials, content and methods. A clear statement of what is to be achieved through the training will provide a sound basis for choosing appropriate evaluation methods. In other words learners will know precisely in which direction they are travelling and trainers will know whether or not they are getting there. As a result evaluating training becomes a much easier process within the four main areas identified in the JSB M&E Evaluation Guidance (on the JSB M&E website). Thus, aims and objectives play a vital role in planning: • • • • a training programme a course a short training event for individual learners evaluation methods.
Objectives are used for this purpose. and evaluation of training. but there is no need to get too bogged down in fine differences. Aim An aim is a general statement of intent. 2 . The terminology has become a minefield. It describes the direction in which the learner will go in terms of what they might learn or what the training will do. Other words are also used such as goals. an aim gives a general indication of what may be learnt and what the benefits are from attending the training. However. after the training experience. Objective An objective is a more specific statement about what the learner should.Guidance Note 01/06 Tackling terminology Aims and objectives are often used loosely (and sometimes incorrectly) although they are very different. Purpose of an aim Aims are very important tools in the design. or will be able to do. implementation. Simply put. purposes (rather like aims) and learning outcomes (similar to objectives). aims do not give any details or means of assessing whether the learning has been successful.
A well-formed learning objective contains all of the following elements. to know something? Does it mean learners have to recite. describe. An objective always describes the important conditions (if any) under which the performance is to occur (for example with reference to the course notes. very little has been said. The Framework of Standards for Magistrate Training and Development refers explicitly to aims and objectives at stages 2:1 and 2:2. • Conditions. Words such as state. or to solve or to read aloud to a group? The word in itself can mean different things to people. 3 . a usefully stated objective is one that succeeds in communicating an intended result to the learner. state the actions to take). and evaluation of training. an objective describes the criterion of acceptable performance by describing how well the learner must perform in order to be considered acceptable (for example correctly. An objective always says what a learner is expected to do and must be measurable.Guidance Note 01/06 The qualities of well-formed learning objectives Objectives are very important tools in the design. Until the definition is understood in terms of what learners ought to be able to DO. Unfortunately. there are many slippery words that are open to a wide range of interpretation when writing objectives. Simply put. compare. according to the Adult Court Bench Book). the objective sometimes describes the product or result of the doing (for example to make a presentation. Wherever possible. and explain all describe things that people might do. list. • Criterion. in the court environment). implementation. accurately. • Performance. Consider the following phrases in this light: Words open to many interpretations to know to understand to appreciate to grasp the significance of Words open to fewer interpretations to describe to state to sort to solve What is meant by.
This expresses an aim in a more personal manner. in order to equip you with the knowledge and understanding of the purpose of the Magistrates National Training Initiative (MNTI). Example of an aim Existing aim To provide an overview of the training and development framework for magistrates. try try and use an “enabling voice” (e. It is also important to look closely at the style of writing and how this comes across to the learner. The aim now gives an indication of how learners might benefit from this module. Revised aim To provide an overview of the training and development framework.Guidance Note 01/06 Example of an aim and a well-formed learning objective Bearing this in mind.’ rather than ‘for magistrates’). to see whether this meets the definition of an aim and the qualities of a well-formed learning objective. let’s examine an existing aim and objective from the Magistrates National Training Initiative (MNTI2) core training materials. When writing an aim that a delegate will read.g. ‘in order to equip you…. 4 .
Condition is underlined . . delegates will be able to: • explain in outline the six key qualities required of a magistrate. and the judicial oath. the undertaking. When writing an objective that a delegate will read try and use an “enabling voice” (e. and the judicial oath.’). ‘you will be able to ….Guidance Note 01/06 Example of a well-formed learning objective Existing objective By the end of the session. By the end of the session. Other examples of aims and well-formed learning objectives are provided at Annex 1.Performance is in bold . using your Induction Pack the six key qualities required of a magistrate. 5 . Revised objective Key code The objective is coded for ease of reference. you will be able to: • describe. This expresses an objective in a more personal manner.Criterion is in italics.’ rather than ‘delegates will be able to ….g. the undertaking. accurately.
consider including these in the stem sentence for the objectives (for example ‘By the end of the session you will. They will also be key in evaluating whether the training has been successful. Further information If you would like the JSB M&E team to provide additional support or advice on this topic (for example quality assurance of existing Area training materials) please do not hesitate to contact Peter Robinson. In this way well written aims and objectives will help to provide a sound basis for identifying the purpose. content and learning methods required.uk. that is what do you want the learner to differently as a result of attending the training? • Use a checklist (example at Annex 2) to see whether performance. • Refer specifically to the aims and objectives when designing evaluation methods. • Think of objectives in terms of the outcome of the training.robinson@jsb. If the condition and criterion apply to all of the objectives.Guidance Note 01/06 Practical tips • Always spend time considering what the aim and objectives of the training are before designing the programme. Monitoring & Evaluation Manager – tel: 0113 200 5131 or email peter. You can find detailed guidance in the JSB M&E Evaluation Guidance on the JSB M&E website. • Constantly refer to the aims and objectives when designing materials/exercises and ensure that learners are fully aware of them throughout the event. with the use of your handouts. 6 .gov. condition and criterion are included in all learning objectives. See Framework of Standards for Magistrate Training and Development.gsi. be able to correctly:’).
objectives and learning outcomes.co. EA Hesketh & JM Laidlaw JSB Magistrates National Training Initiative (MNTI) Core Training Materials JSB M&E website www.html Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development www. Frances & Roland Bee (2000) ISBN –0-85292-871-8 Aims.jsboard.uk 7 . Scottish Council for Postgraduate Medical Dental Education.com Aims & Objectives.Guidance Note 01/06 References Preparing Instructional Objectives.uk/mande/index.co. RF Mager (1991) ISBN -0-8224-4341-4 The Complete Learning Evaluation Toolkit. Training the trainer resource pack www.archive-skills.cipd.
the structured decision making process. three reasons for. Objectives: By the end of the session. without using your course notes • summarise accurately. the concepts of bias. 8 . Key code The objectives are coded for ease of reference. as outlined in your pre-course reading pack • name correctly five different types of question style. and elements of. you will be able to: • describe using suggestions from within syndicate groups. impartiality and fairness as applied in the magistrates’ court. Note: These are only illustrative examples. .Performances are in bold .Criteria are in italics. by reference to your pre-course reading pack. bias and fairness so that you understand and apply these principles in court.Conditions are underlined .Guidance Note 01/06 Annex 1 Example 1 Aim: To introduce the concepts of judicial decision-making.
Guidance Note 01/06 Annex 1 (cont’d) Example 2 Aim: To explain the concept of case management and the role you play. and to identify and explore the key preliminary stages in a criminal prosecution.Conditions are underlined . you will be able to correctly: • • describe what case management is and why it is important state four actions to consider when dealing with the impact of delays in court proceedings • explain the procedure for making adjournment and remand decisions and the key issues to consider when making bail/custody decisions. Objectives: By the end of the session. Key code The objectives are coded for ease of reference. .Criteria are in italics. 9 . Note: These are only illustrative examples.Performances are in bold . with reference to your course notes and/or Adult Court Bench Book.
Note: These are only illustrative examples. using the new structured decision making form • name correctly at least five requirements that can be attached to a community order without reference to your course notes.Guidance Note 01/06 Annex 1 (cont’d) Example 3 Aim: To examine the key reforms within the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) and provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to apply the new sentencing provisions. in accordance with the SGC and course material.Conditions are underlined . 10 . you will be able to: • describe. .Criteria are in italics. Key code The objectives are coded for ease of reference. using suggestions from within syndicate groups. the structured approach to sentencing within the CJA ensuring this accurately covers the Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) requirements • list the correct steps to consider from case study exercises.Performances are in bold . Objectives: By the end of the session.
Date: ………………………………. to a group of people.. write. Met ( or x) Comments Training programme/course: ……………………………………………………………………. summarise or explain. or given a list of. list. Criterion Do the objectives state the quality or level of performance that will be considered acceptable? Examples such as according to specific references.. 11 . name. accurately or correctly. Name: …………………………………………. Condition Do the objectives state the specific conditions under which the performance is expected to occur? Examples such as with or without reference to course materials.Guidance Note 01/06 Annex 2 Checklist for testing well-formed learning objectives Characteristics of objectives Performance Do the objectives state what the learner is able to do? Examples in the form of doing words such as describe.
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