Formulating Educational Objectives for CME Programs

One of the most critical aspects of planning a CME activity is writing learning objectives. Once the needs assessment has been analyzed and the needs have been determined, objectives must be developed. The objectives should …

One of the most critical aspects of planning a CME activity is writing learning objectives. Once the needs assessment has been analyzed and the needs have been determined, objectives must be developed. The objectives should support the needs assessment findings. Objectives assist in planning activities, evaluating activities, and helping prospective participants determine if your activity meets their needs or interests.

There are three primary types of objectives:

  • Learner objectives state what the learner should know or be able to do at the end of a learning activity. This type of objective emphasized learning outcomes.
  • Instructional (teaching) objectives state what the instructor intends to accomplish during a learning activity. This type of objective describes a process, not an outcome.
  • Behavioral objectives state what the learner might be able to do differently (behavioural change) as a result of what has been learned. This type of objective should be used to formulate educational objectives for continuing medical education (CME) programs. Start with the phrase: “At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:” and then state the things participants will be able to do.

The list of verbs below has been found to be effective in formulating educational objectives for CME programs.

Verbs that communicate knowledge:

Information
cite identify quote relate tabulate count
indicate read repeat tell define list
recite select trace describe name recognize
state update draw point record summarize
write
Comprehension
assess contrast distinguish interpolate restate associate
demonstrate estimate interpret review classify describe
estimate interpret review translate compare differentiate
express predict compute discuss extrapolate report
Application
apply employ match relate sketch calculate
examine operate report solve choose illustrate
order restate translate complete interpolate practice
review treat demonstrate interpret predict schedule
use develop locate prescribe select utilize
Analysis
analyze criticize diagram infer question appraise
debate differentiate inspect separate contract deduce
distinguish inventory separate contrast detect experiment
measure
Synthesis
arrange construct formulate organize produce assemble
create generalize plan propose collect design
integrate prepare specify combine detect manage
prescribe validate compose document
Evaluation
appraise critique evaluate rank score assess
decide grade rate select choose determine
judge recommend test compare estimate measure
revise

Verbs that impact skills:

demonstrate hold massage pass visualize diagnose
integrate measure write diagram internalize operate
project empathize palpate record listen

Verbs that convey attitudes:

acquire exemplify plan reflect transfer consider
modify realize revise

Words such as these should be avoided, as they are open to many interpretations:

    • appreciate
    • have faith in
    • know
    • learn
    • understand
    • believe

Reference

Rosof AB. Stating objectives, in Rosof AB Felch WC (eds): Continuing medical education: a primer, Westport, Conn.: Praeger; 1992:52-59.

Drug Integrity Associate Audrey Amos is a pharmacist with experience in health communication and has a passion for making health information accessible. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Butler University. As a Drug Integrity Associate, she audits drug content, addresses drug-related queries

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!