Approved Word List

Objectives communicate expectations for an activity or course of action. These explicit statements provide a context for what will be learned. There are both discipline-specific (knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors) and non-discipline-specific (communication and presentation skills, moral values, and ethics) objectives. Objectives can help participants clarify their personal goals for an activity and provide a framework against which to measure their success.

Explicit objectives are important for a number of reasons. First, when clearly defined objectives are lacking, there is no sound basis for the selection of instructional materials, content, or methods. If you don’t know where you’re going, it is difficult to select a suitable means for getting there. Instructors/faculty simply function in a fog unless they know what they want the participants to accomplish as a result of their instruction.

A second important reason for stating objectives has to do with finding out whether the objective has, in fact, been accomplished. Evaluations, tests, or examinations are the mileposts along the road of learning and should tell instructors and participants alike whether they have been successful in achieving the activity objectives. But unless the objectives are clearly and firmly fixed in the minds of both parties, tests/evaluations are at best misleading; at worst, they are irrelevant, unfair, or uninformative.

A third advantage of clearly defined objectives is that they provide participants with the means to organize their own efforts toward accomplishment of those objectives.

Objectives are an integral part of a well-designed course. Writing objectives helps to organize the content and to divide the activity into units of information. Objectives state the specific criteria of acceptable performance, or "learning outcomes”, to be achieved by a participant. By stating the criteria, participants can understand the requirements and focus their learning activities appropriately. Clear, definable objectives can be used as indicators of success, and will help participants recognize their progress.

Objectives need to be organized in such a way as to be useful to the participant and the faculty. To accomplish this, objectives need to be written as participant learning outcome statements. Learning objectives should be measurable and observable and written to answer the question “What must the participant do to prove that he/she has succeeded?” or “What should a participant be able to do as a result of instruction/participation?”

Develop objectives to focus on the Mission of the CME.

The three essential elements of learning objectives are a statement of who (the learner), how (the action verb), and what (the content):

Who

How

What

The learner will be able

To name

The three elements in the management of perennial rhinitis

The participants will be able

To identify

The psychosocial factors important in the development of the child abuse syndrome

The physician will be able

To explain

 The dangers of using hexachlorophene in skin prophylaxis of the newborn

The healthcare provider will be able

To perform

CPR

Examples of HOW To apply

To create

To employ

To list

To relate

To arrange

To describe

To evaluate

To name

To review

To assess

To defend

To explain

To organize

To report

To categorize

To diagram

To formulate

To predict

To sort

To classify

To discuss

To illustrate

To prepare

To solve problems

To contrast

To discriminate

To integrate

To recall

To translate

To construct

To distinguish

To interpret

To recognize

To update

 

Examples of WHAT

Consider adding performance standards to your learning objectives. Wording that describes acceptable standards might include:

  • in a fifteen-minute time period
  • with no mistakes
  • with 98% accuracy
  • getting 22 out of 25 correct

Define the criteria or conditions under which the learning is to be demonstrated. Wording that describes learning conditions might include:       

  • Given a problem of the following type...
  • Without the use of any reference materials...
  • Using a specific instrument.

Then list however many objectives (usually not more than five). While too few may not provide enough information about the learning opportunity, too many may be confusing and overwhelm the potential participants.

WORDS TO AVOID

Avoid the following words as they are open to many interpretations

Appreciate

Believe

Have faith in

Know

Learn

Understand

The following action verbs have been found to be effective in formulating educational objectives:

VERBS THAT COMMUNICATE KNOWLEDGE:

Information

Cite

Count

Define

Describe

Draw

Identify

List

Name

Point

Quote

Read

Recall

Recite

Recognize

Record

Relate

Repeat

Select

State

Summarize

Tabulate

Tell

Trace

Underline

Update

Write

Comprehension

Assess

Associate

Classify

Compare

Compute

Contrast

Demonstrate

Describe

Differentiate

Discuss

Distinguish

Estimate

Explain

Express

Extrapolate

Interpolate

Interpret

Locate

Predict

Report

Restate

Review

Translate

Application

Apply

Calculate

Choose

Complete

Demonstrate

Develop

Employ

Examine

Illustrate

Interpolate

Interpret

Locate

Match

Operate

Order

Practice

Predict

Prescribe

Relate

Report

Restate

Review

Schedule

Select

Sketch

Solve

Translate

Treat

Use

Utilize

Analysis

Analyze

Appraise

Contract

Contrast

Criticize

Debate

Deduce

Detect

Diagram

Differentiate

Distinguish

Experiment

Infer

Inspect

Inventory

Measure

Question

Separate

Summarize

Information

Cite

Count

Define

Describe

Draw

Identify

List

Name

Point

Quote

Read

Recall

Recite

Recognize

Record

Relate

Repeat

Select

State

Summarize

Tabulate

Tell

Trace

Underline

Update

Write

Comprehension

Assess

Associate

Classify

Compare

Compute

Contrast

Demonstrate

Describe

Differentiate

Discuss

Distinguish

Estimate

Explain

Express

Extrapolate

Interpolate

Interpret

Locate

Predict

Report

Restate

Review

Translate

Application

Apply

Calculate

Choose

Complete

Demonstrate

Develop

Employ

Examine

Illustrate

Interpolate

Interpret

Locate

Match

Operate

Order

Practice

Predict

Prescribe

Relate

Report

Restate

Review

Schedule

Select

Sketch

Solve

Translate

Treat

Use

Utilize

Analysis

Analyze

Appraise

Contract

Contrast

Criticize

Debate

Deduce

Detect

Diagram

Differentiate

Distinguish

Experiment

Infer

Inspect

Inventory

Measure

Question

Separate

Summarize

MSNJ-CMEAP Procedure and Instructional Manual – January 2012 S

 

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