Intention Goals are the planned actions that we want participants to author during training as their personal transfer plan. If training is working as designed, participants should be writing actions that drive desired adoptive behaviors back into their everyday work patterns.
Developing Intention Goals is relatively easy if the course has a set of well-written, performance-based learning objectives. In training, performance-based learning objectives manifest themselves in the forms of content modules and skill-practice exercises. Therefore, the path to developing Intention Goals is performance-based learning objectives, which lead to course content/learning, which leads to Intention Goals. To create Intention Goals, review the performance-based learning objectives and the course content/learning and answer two questions:
In what work situations do we want participants to apply the learned content?
In those situations, what observable actions (work) will they do?
When participants believe that new skills and knowledge mastered in training will help them and/or their organizations, it increases the likelihood of adoption. When participants change their beliefs about themselves and their personal performance, they apply the new skills and even take on new challenges. Beliefs manifest themselves in words and actions. Therefore, training should instill the set of beliefs that support participants in trying, practicing, and finally transferring these skills.
For example, in a Business Acumen Training course you start authoring belief statements by answering this question: Looking at the course and our company’s culture and values, what beliefs do participants need to produce the desired business results? Another way to stimulate creation of belief statements is with this question: If participants from this course were the most competent and highly respected business leaders in the company, what would they believe in?
Capturing Intention Goals and Beliefs
During and at the close of training, participants author their goals and rate their beliefs. These are written during a goal-planning (sometimes called action-planning) section in the course. In general, participants can realistically accomplish two or three goals after a training program. If they write more, they often accomplish relatively little, which results in low or no adoption.
An example of a Predictive Evaluation goal-planning sheet for Business Acumen Training is:
Evaluating Participant Goals
After participants have left training, judge each goal and compare it to the predicted goals from the Impact Matrix’s Intentions Goal. If possible, use two evaluators to independently judge the goals and then jointly decide which are acceptable. Two evaluators provide a higher level of reliability in judging goals. The following checklist is used in judging goals. Goals from participants never exactly match predicted goals.
This produces an Intentions Goal Score. Compare the Intention Goals Score against the Intentions Success Gate. If it is greater, the course is working as planned, and no corrective action is needed. If it is lower, the evaluator must investigate further to determine why (root cause) and what correction action to recommend.
Reporting the Results - The Intention Dashboard
In PE, we share our findings using the dashboard concept. The dashboard is a report to senior management that provides an at-a-glance perspective on the current status of a course in the context of predetermined metrics for that program (Intention, Adoption, or Impact). Good dashboards are simple, short, and do not require interpretation.
Dashboard reports provide an educational evaluation, allowing managers and executives to examine and assess training success. They facilitate discussion by highlighting metric status points, encouraging management by exception, when deviations from the norm become the focal points of discussion.