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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.
purposes (rather like aims) and learning outcomes (similar to objectives). Other words are also used such as goals. It describes the direction in which the learner will go in terms of what they might learn or what the training will do. Aim An aim is a general statement of intent. Objectives are used for this purpose. Purpose of an aim Aims are very important tools in the design. 2 . Simply put. but there is no need to get too bogged down in fine differences. Objective An objective is a more specific statement about what the learner should. an aim gives a general indication of what may be learnt and what the benefits are from attending the training. after the training experience. and evaluation of training. implementation. or will be able to do. aims do not give any details or means of assessing whether the learning has been successful. The terminology has become a minefield.Guidance Note 01/06 Tackling terminology Aims and objectives are often used loosely (and sometimes incorrectly) although they are very different. However.
Words such as state. and explain all describe things that people might do. An objective always describes the important conditions (if any) under which the performance is to occur (for example with reference to the course notes. Unfortunately. Until the definition is understood in terms of what learners ought to be able to DO. state the actions to take). describe. list. Simply put. a usefully stated objective is one that succeeds in communicating an intended result to the learner. or to solve or to read aloud to a group? The word in itself can mean different things to people. 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. 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. Wherever possible. An objective always says what a learner is expected to do and must be measurable. • Conditions. and evaluation of training. • Performance. there are many slippery words that are open to a wide range of interpretation when writing objectives. according to the Adult Court Bench Book). compare. implementation. the objective sometimes describes the product or result of the doing (for example to make a presentation. A well-formed learning objective contains all of the following elements. to know something? Does it mean learners have to recite.Guidance Note 01/06 The qualities of well-formed learning objectives Objectives are very important tools in the design. 3 . in the court environment). very little has been said. accurately. • Criterion. The Framework of Standards for Magistrate Training and Development refers explicitly to aims and objectives at stages 2:1 and 2:2.
in order to equip you with the knowledge and understanding of the purpose of the Magistrates National Training Initiative (MNTI). ‘in order to equip you…. to see whether this meets the definition of an aim and the qualities of a well-formed learning objective.’ rather than ‘for magistrates’). 4 . Revised aim To provide an overview of the training and development framework.g. 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. Example of an aim Existing aim To provide an overview of the training and development framework for magistrates. When writing an aim that a delegate will read.Guidance Note 01/06 Example of an aim and a well-formed learning objective Bearing this in mind. This expresses an aim in a more personal manner. let’s examine an existing aim and objective from the Magistrates National Training Initiative (MNTI2) core training materials. try try and use an “enabling voice” (e.
Performance is in bold . Other examples of aims and well-formed learning objectives are provided at Annex 1.’). 5 . . the undertaking. By the end of the session.Guidance Note 01/06 Example of a well-formed learning objective Existing objective By the end of the session. you will be able to: • describe. Revised objective Key code The objective is coded for ease of reference. and the judicial oath. accurately. ‘you will be able to ….Condition is underlined . When writing an objective that a delegate will read try and use an “enabling voice” (e. the undertaking.’ rather than ‘delegates will be able to …. and the judicial oath.g. This expresses an objective in a more personal manner. delegates will be able to: • explain in outline the six key qualities required of a magistrate.Criterion is in italics. using your Induction Pack the six key qualities required of a magistrate.
consider including these in the stem sentence for the objectives (for example ‘By the end of the session you will. Monitoring & Evaluation Manager – tel: 0113 200 5131 or email peter.Guidance Note 01/06 Practical tips • Always spend time considering what the aim and objectives of the training are before designing the programme. They will also be key in evaluating whether the training has been successful. • Constantly refer to the aims and objectives when designing materials/exercises and ensure that learners are fully aware of them throughout the event. See Framework of Standards for Magistrate Training and Development. • Think of objectives in terms of the outcome of the training.robinson@jsb. 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. with the use of your handouts. content and learning methods required. 6 .gov. condition and criterion are included in all learning objectives.uk. • Refer specifically to the aims and objectives when designing evaluation methods.gsi. be able to correctly:’). If the condition and criterion apply to all of the objectives. 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. You can find detailed guidance in the JSB M&E Evaluation Guidance on the JSB M&E website. In this way well written aims and objectives will help to provide a sound basis for identifying the purpose.
Training the trainer resource pack www.html Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development www.Guidance Note 01/06 References Preparing Instructional Objectives. EA Hesketh & JM Laidlaw JSB Magistrates National Training Initiative (MNTI) Core Training Materials JSB M&E website www.co.uk 7 .jsboard. Frances & Roland Bee (2000) ISBN –0-85292-871-8 Aims.co. Scottish Council for Postgraduate Medical Dental Education.com Aims & Objectives.archive-skills. RF Mager (1991) ISBN -0-8224-4341-4 The Complete Learning Evaluation Toolkit.uk/mande/index.cipd. objectives and learning outcomes.
Conditions are underlined . as outlined in your pre-course reading pack • name correctly five different types of question style. Note: These are only illustrative examples. the concepts of bias. . without using your course notes • summarise accurately. 8 . Key code The objectives are coded for ease of reference.Guidance Note 01/06 Annex 1 Example 1 Aim: To introduce the concepts of judicial decision-making. by reference to your pre-course reading pack.Criteria are in italics.Performances are in bold . and elements of. bias and fairness so that you understand and apply these principles in court. Objectives: By the end of the session. three reasons for. the structured decision making process. impartiality and fairness as applied in the magistrates’ court. you will be able to: • describe using suggestions from within syndicate groups.
Criteria are in italics.Conditions are underlined . Note: These are only illustrative examples. with reference to your course notes and/or Adult Court Bench Book. 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. 9 . .Guidance Note 01/06 Annex 1 (cont’d) Example 2 Aim: To explain the concept of case management and the role you play. Key code The objectives are coded for ease of reference.Performances are in bold . Objectives: By the end of the session. and to identify and explore the key preliminary stages in a criminal prosecution.
using suggestions from within syndicate groups. Note: These are only illustrative examples. Key code The objectives are coded for ease of reference.Performances are in bold . 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. in accordance with the SGC and course material. 10 . you will be able to: • describe. 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.Criteria are in italics.Conditions are underlined .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. Objectives: By the end of the session. .
name. Name: ………………………………………….. list. Met ( or x) Comments Training programme/course: ……………………………………………………………………. Date: ………………………………. to a group of people. 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.. 11 . or given a list of. summarise or explain. write. Criterion Do the objectives state the quality or level of performance that will be considered acceptable? Examples such as according to specific references.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. accurately or correctly.
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