Objectives and Outcomes—

Why are they important?

When planning a lesson, your process should begin with creating the objectives for the lesson you will create. Objectives provide the direction in planning and implementing a purposeful and effective activity. Outcomes provide the feedback that determines whether your objectives were successful.

Lesson objectives reflect the goals of the facilitator. For example, you are facilitating a lesson on STDs. Your objectives are:

· Present youth with a working definition of STDs.
· Distribute handout packets of different curable and treatable STDs.
· Implement an interactive game of Three in a Row to determine youth retention of information.
Outcomes reflect the behaviors that you anticipate youth will demonstrate at the close of your activity. Examples of outcomes are:
· Youth will identify at least five STDs and determine whether they are curable or treatable.
· Youth will recognize an STD upon sight (using pictures)
· Youth will read aloud in groups the information from the STD packets and create a team poster about what they have read.

Facilitators who have clear objectives and listed outcomes are more likely to be able to determine their effectiveness and assess the knowledge base of their audience in a consistent manner. Creating outcomes makes your effectiveness measurable. When you are able to identify what your audience has learned at the close of your session, your program will become more impactful and valuable to your audience. Without objectives or outcomes for your activity, really, what is the point in even participating?

by Khadijah Ali-Coleman (c) 2005
excerpt from Facilitating Effectively newsletter


Youth as Facilitators— Making it the Norm

Youth can facilitate a group just as well as an adult sometimes. Research shows that young people, especially teens, are more apt to follow the advice and instruction of a peer in some instances before they follow the advice of an adult. Think about it— whose opinion is more valuable— someone who has more in common with you and living a similar experience as you NOW or someone who is older, never been a teen during your era and can only give personal testimonies of “back in the day”?
Peer facilitation is highly effective and can give adult facilitators insight on some techniques that they can infuse in their own facilitation style. Incorporate peer facilitation in your agenda and allow opportunities for youth to shine as facilitators. It’s two-fold— you are contributing to advancing youth development and you get a little break while you’re at it!

By Khadijah Ali-Coleman