Steps to Writing Learning Objectives

  • A learning objective is a statement in specific and measurable terms that describes what the learner will know or be able to do as a result of engaging in a learning activity (i.e. training).
  • Learning objectives provide clear direction for the intern.  It is strongly advisable that the employer and intern create mutually agreed upon learning objectives to ensure both parties have the same expectations.  
  • Select learning objectives that are consistent with the goals and objectives of the work in your department.
  • Describe the typical assignments you will give the intern.   Break down larger assignments and/or projects into smaller steps and/or manageable tasks. 
  • Describe the intern’s training by writing specific learning objectives using the format such as “The intern will …” with the appropriate verb and specific details.  Appropriate verbs for the earlier learning objectives include “understand…”,  “familiarize…”, “learn…”, and “begin to…”.
  • To show progression in the level of difficulty, you may write at least a set of learning objectives (one each for beginning, middle, concluding weeks of the internship) for each of the major assignments/responsibilities.
  • Mid-point:  Evaluation and feedback mechanisms are beneficial for the student’s learning.  Use the learning objectives, and overall goals for the internship to provide feedback and evaluate the student’s progress. 
  • The wording and verbs of learning objectives in the Middle phase of the internship (weeks 5 – 8) should change to reflect how the intern should begin to demonstrate proficiency and skill in performing more difficult tasks or advancing to more complex stages of a long term project. 
  •  In the Concluding weeks (weeks 9 – 12), describe how the intern will perform tasks requiring higher levels of skill, and demonstrate independence in carrying out tasks.