Today's Tip: Benefits Statements Add Affective Power

visual I learned this trick from my dear friends and colleagues Harold Stolovitch and Erica Keeps. We were working together on a course titled "Change And You" designed to help people work through significant changes they might encounter in their work environment. As Harold and Erica wrote the key objective for each lesson, they included a benefit statement with the objective. It was kind of a 'What's In It For Me" statement. This turned out to be a big help to the whole design team, our client, and the students.

The benefit statement helped identify the affective (desired attitude) part of the lesson. I have since used this trick many times, especially in courses where there is a large affective component (e.g. when introducing a significant change, a new technology, or a new company-wide initiative). Writing the benefit statements also comes in handy for creating a course description when you are ready to market your program internally or externally.


Here is an example from one of the modules in the course "Change And You" for a module titled The Impact of Change:

  • Key Objectives: Identify the impact of change on yourself, view change as an opportunity, and take active steps to comprehend and welcome change.
  • Benefit Statement: To be better prepared for change, you need to know what people go through when faced with a change and have some strategies you can use for dealing with sudden change.

Here are a couple of examples I recently wrote for a one-day workshop titled Instructional Design: Reinforcing Fundamentals and Providing Advanced Skills. I will be presenting this workshop at ISPI international conference on April 9, 2011 .

For a module titled Content/Task Analysis:

  • Key Objective: Generate a Content/task analysis related to your training program's Goal.
  • Benefit Statement: I need to figure out what content is necessary and sufficient to meet the course goal of my training program.

For a module titled Working With Subject Matter Experts:

  • Key Objective: From a list of common barriers to working more productively with SMEs, develop ways to respond to these barriers in your own environment.
  • Benefits: By having ways to overcome or minimize common barriers when working with SMEs, you will be fore-armed with ways to respond when these barriers and issues arise.

To see the whole list of objective and matching benefits click this link to see how they were used in the course description for ISPI's marketing efforts.


I hope you will give this a try and discover writing benefit statements for your Key Objectives can help expose the affective component of your lessons.


Until next time,




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