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Guidelines for Writing Learning Objectives

Objectives should clearly and concisely communicate what an attendee is expected to know and/or do at the conclusion of an activity. Objectives must be included in the brochure so the attendees may evaluate the relevance of attending a CME activity. The planning committee develops objectives to focus on the purpose of the CME activity.

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

    The learner will be able
    to list
    actions to take to reduce risk for stroke
    The participant
    can explain
    successful measures to prevent disorders of bone and mineral metabolism
    The attendee will be able
    to identify
    methods of optimizing glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes

    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 thirty-minute time period
    • with no mistakes
    • with 90% accuracy
    • getting 9 out of 10 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.