How to Write Measurable Goals and Objectives by howardtheduck

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									Writing Objectives: A Guide
NCMS Department of Education Services This guidance is intended to assist you in writing measurable objectives for your CME application. Measurable objectives state:  Who is involved The people whose behaviors, knowledge, and/or skills are to be changed as a result of the program.  What are the desired outcomes The intended behavior, knowledge, and/or skill changes that should result from the program or activities.  How progress is measured What tool or device (surveys, tests, data from other sources) will be used to measure the expected changes. Remember you need to ensure that your department has the resources/capacity (time, staff, funding, etc.) to perform the measurement.  Proficiency level Identify the criteria for success.  When will the outcome occur Identify the time frame for success Example: By December 2010, tobacco use will decrease to 10% of patients seen as reported on a prevalence survey. Who: all adult patients What: Decrease tobacco use When: By December 2010 How measured: as reported on a prevalence survey Proficiency level: to 10%

Measurable objectives can relate to the:
Physician What is the outcome? Change in achievement Change in behavior Change in attitude How is it measured? Assessment Incidence of behavior Student log Survey

Office Staff What is the outcome of professional development? Pedagogy Knowledge Skill Attitude How is it measured? Observation Logs Assessment Surveys

Concrete terms that can form the basis of specific learning objectives:

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The following terms to be CONSIDERED when writing learning objectives: To explain To identify To describe To integrate To contrast To sort To solve To relate To recall To list To name To recognize To apply To employ To illustrate To use To interpret To categorize To formulate To organize To prepare To arrange To construct To create To predict To evaluate To defend To assess To distinguish To diagram To report To restate To review To classify To translate To discriminate

General Terms such as those listed below are inadequate because they are open to many interpretations (they are non-specific) and are not accessible to quantification. AVOID the following terms when writing learning objectives: To know To understand To really understand To fully appreciate To internalize To grasp the significance of To have an awareness of Tips on Writing Most objectives need to have three components as follows:  A measurable verb (also known as performance)  The important conditions (if any) under which the performance is to occur and  The criterion of acceptable performance It is important to say that many objectives are written in a manner in which the important conditions and criterion are implicit. If they really are implicit the argument can be made that they may not be necessary. For example, an objective might be stated as follows: The student will be able to name the five stages of mitosis. There would be no point in stating the objective as follows just to meet the requirements of it having a criterion. The student will correctly (criterion) name the five stages of mitosis within 30 seconds (criterion). On the other hand, there may be objectives that need to have the conditions and/or criterion specified. For example, a teacher might begin the process of writing an objective with a general statement such as: The learner will be able to prepare appropriate new patient workups. He/she then might decide that this objective is too vague or general to be instructional to the student and to also let others who teach the student know what is expected. Therefore, in an effort to improve the objective the teacher might add criteria as exemplified below. The learner will be able to prepare legible, comprehensive, and focused new patient workups that include the following features: Present illness organized chronologically, without repetition, omission, or extraneous information.
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A comprehensive physical examination with detail pertinent to the patient's problem. A succinct and, where appropriate, unified list of all problems identified in the history and physical examination. A differential diagnosis for each problem (appropriate to level of training) A diagnosis/treatment plan for each problem (appropriate to level of training) Examples of behavioral objectives written in general (not easily measurable) followed by an effort to make the objective more specific/descriptive and more measurable General: The learner will be able to: orally present a new patient's case More Specific: The learner will be able to: orally present a new patient's case in a logical manner, chronologically developing the present illness, summarizing the pertinent positive and negative findings as well as the differential diagnosis and plans for further testing and treatment. General: The learner will be able to: prepare appropriate new patient workups More Specific: The learner will be able to: prepare legible, comprehensive, and focused new patient workups that include the following features: Present illness organized chronologically, without repetition, omission, or extraneous information. A comprehensive physical examination with detail pertinent to the patient's problem. A succinct and, where appropriate, unified list of all problems identified in the history and physical examination. A differential diagnosis for each problem (appropriate to level of training) A diagnosis/treatment plan for each problem (appropriate to level of training) General: The learner will be able to: retrieve medical information using the computer. More Specific: The learner will be able to: Retrieve information, demonstrating the ability to Perform database searches using logical (Boolean) operators, in a manner that reflects understanding of medical language, terminology, and the relationship among medical terms and concepts; Refine search strategies to improve relevance and completeness of retrieved items; Use of standard bibliographic application to download citations from a search and organize them into a personal database; and Identify and acquire full-text electronic documents available from the www. General: The learner will be able to: properly examine a stool specimen for the presence of ova and parasites. More Specific: The learner will be able to: take stool specimens infected with 1 of 10 possible ova and parasites and correctly identify them. Even More Specific:

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The student will be able to: take stool specimens infected with 1 of 10 possible parasites, process it according to standard procedures, and identify under a microscope examples of ova and of parasites (Parasites must be identified by scientific name.)

Objectives Worksheet
NCMS Department of Education Services Directions: Write your goal, then for each objective in the space provided write who is involved; what the desired outcomes are; how progress will be measured; when the outcome will occur and the proficiency level. Next put the pieces together into a sentence. Finally, use the checklist to ensure that the objectives contain all necessary components. Use a new worksheet for each goal.
Goal:____________________________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Objective 1: Who:____________________________________ What:______________________________________________ How: _____________________________________When:_____________________________________________ Proficiency level:______________________________________________ Written objective:_____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________

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Objective 2: Who:____________________________________ What:______________________________________________ How: _____________________________________When:_____________________________________________ Proficiency level:______________________________________________ Written objective:_____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________

Objective 3: Who:____________________________________ What:______________________________________________ How: _____________________________________When:_____________________________________________ Proficiency level:______________________________________________ Written objective:_____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________

Objectives Checklist Objectives contain all elements Who What How When Proficiency Level Redundancy has been eliminated. Objectives relate to needs assessment findings Objectives can really be measured. Capacity to perform measurement? Instrument or data source has been identified. Shows how assessment: Assesses what each component does Assess outcome Should not have separate assessment unless you expect different outcomes of different groups

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