Action Objectives Are More Active

A good lesson begins with learning objectives, we are told. We create and then communicate what we intend our students to learn by the end of our time together.

Learning is great, but action is better. Teachers, imagine how our teaching shifts when we articulate the actions our students will take because of our lesson. Those creating teachable moments within your office or board meeting, imagine how the engagement of others changes when we envision what our staff or board members will do because of the information you share. I hesitate to say “will take” or “will do” as opposed to “be able to take or do” because there is, of course, no certainly that they will take or do them. But let’s post that flag on the hill and aim for it. Their success matters.

The action objectives I set for our board trainings is that the board members who attend will implement job descriptions, schedule an orientation for new members, and train those who need it on how read a balance sheet. I know that not all will take these actions, but I have heard from many of them that they do. We give them the awareness of why these things matter, word doc templates to adapt as they need, and short videos that make a lesson on balance sheets easy. We make it simple to take the next step.

By stating our objectives in term of action, we have more skin in the game to move them along the engagement cycle from know to understand to engage. We commit to giving them the tools they’ll need to succeed; we commit to staying with them as inevitable questions arise while they put lesson learned to work.

Ultimately we need those sitting in our workshops to do things differently. Our funding partners expect it too. Setting action objectives raises the bar on us so that we can more reasonably expect more from them. Ready, set, action!

Published by Nancy

I am a teacher, instructional designer, and nonprofit practitioner. Since 1996, I have worked at the intersection of learning and nonprofit leadership. A former middle school ESL teacher, I have created and delivered learning programs for K-12 teachers and students, Afro-Brazilian women in Salvador, Brazil, and nonprofit people from across Washington.

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