Presenting the learning goals at the start of a learning journey will help learners activate relevant prior knowledge, which improves comprehension and recall.
In their research, John Bransford and Marcia Johnson (1972) show in 4 different studies that learners recorded increased comprehension ratings and recall scores when supplied with appropriate information before they heard a detailed description. The same research highlights that prior knowledge, which is essential for retention, does not play a role unless activated.
In this example, I will present the learning goals for an appraisal exercise course delivered at organizational level. The course is targeting all top managers within the organization and is aiming to improve the appraisal process which is in place for several years now.
Most managers will know the basics of the process, but because not all of them followed a formal training programme, their understanding of the process is not always consistent with the organizational guidelines.