How to write objectives (Book review)

This holiday season, I’ve decided to share twelve books with you.
At the bottom of this post, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of this book.
You can also visit this page to find the entire list of books and giveaways.

When working with clients, it’s incredibly important to make sure that you and the client are completely clear about the training goals before the training begins.

For example, imagine the following situation. A client drops off her dog for two weeks of training at your house. One thing that she says that she wants her dog to work on is “stay.” You agree that this would be a great behavior for the dog to practice.

A sheltie dog lying down in the autumn leavesWhen she returns, you proudly show her how her dog can stay lying down for long periods of time in your front yard, even with other people and dogs walking by.

Instead of being pleased, she is quite upset. She doesn’t care about the dog staying when he’s outside. Instead, she wanted him to stay on his bed and not get underfoot when she’s cooking dinner. You didn’t even work on that!

The solution to this misunderstanding is to make sure that you and the client agree on well-defined objectives before training begins. As I’ve written about previously on my blog, objectives create a measurable goal to work toward and help make sure that everyone is on the same page.

When it comes to objectives, one of my favorite books is Robert Mager’s Preparing Instructional Objectives. Mager’s goal in the book is to teach you to write objectives that include a clear description of the learner’s performance, as well as information about the conditions under which the behavior should occur and the standard of performance that will be required.

This book is straight forward and easy to read with plenty of examples and also some practice problems. I have both my undergraduate students and graduate students read sections from this book when we talk about writing objectives.

Whether you’re interested in setting clearer goals and expectations for your training clients or just for your own training with your personal animals, I think you will find this book interesting and useful. You can follow this link to find Preparing Instructional Objectives on Amazon.

A quote from Robert Mager's Preparing Instructional Objectives

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