Learning can be grouped into 3 types of goals: to inform, to perform procedures, or to perform strategic tasks. Many courses contain a blend of both inform and perform learning objectives, while some are designed for inform only or perform only.
Inform programs are lessons designed primarily to build awareness or transmit information. Examples include: new employee orientation module reviewing company information or history, policies or procedures for compliance, or product updates. The information is job relevant but not tied to a specific skill to be required.
Perform programs are designed to build specific skills. Examples include: lessons on software use, troubleshooting a equipment failure, customer service, how to log on, or how to close a sale.
Perform programs can of two types: procedural or strategic.
Procedural lessons are designed to teach step-by-step tasks, which are performed more or less the same way each time (i.e. computer skills).
Perform Strategic Tasks
Strategic lessons are designed to teach general approaches to tasks that do not have one correct approach or outcome. The situation presented in the training may not be what the worker experiences on the job, therefore he or she requires problem solving to adapt guidelines to various job situations. The worker has to use judgement in performing these tasks because there is no one right approach for all situations (i.e. soft skills, management, or sales training).
When designing training, if you know the type of goal you're looking for, you then can apply different best-practice strategies and guidelines for each specific type of training.