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