Within the realm of education, the terms objectives and outcomes... • Foster a common understanding or expectation among instructors,... Writing Effective Educational Objectives

Writing Effective Educational Objectives
Within the realm of education, the terms objectives and outcomes are generally interchangeable.
The Purpose of Educational Objectives:
• Foster a common understanding or expectation among instructors, students and
administrators regarding what an educational activity aims to accomplish.
• Define an activity’s place or role within a broader program.
• Guide students about where they should focus their learning efforts.
• Establish standards against which an activity can be evaluated.
Three Types of Educational Outcomes:
1. Learning
2. Attitudinal
3. Behavioral
Learning Objectives or Outcomes describe what students will be able to do after successfully
completing an activity.
Developing learning objectives should be the first step in planning any educational activity.
They guide the design process by establishing priorities for pedagogy and content.
Characteristics of Effective Course Objectives:
• Focus entirely on students
• Emphasize core skills and content
• Relate directly back to program goals
• Define learning levels
• Measurable within the confines of the course
• Specific
• Realistic
• Clearly and concisely written
• Strive for higher order learning
Writing Course Objectives:
1. Describe a performance using an action verb.
Bloom’s skill cues are often helpful (See last page).
2. Specify the degree, contexts and/or conditions of learning.
On completing the course, student will be able to:
Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of microbiology as it relates to the general
practice of medicine. This will specifically include:
Bacterial structure and function;
Bacterial growth and metabolism;
Writing Effective Educational Objectives; 2.08
Genetic regulation and mechanism of genetic exchange;
Antibiotics, antibiotic resistance and principle of sterilization; &
Normal flora and virulence factors.
Evaluate clinical scenarios involving infections of the:
Respiratory tract,
Gastrointestinal tract &
Urogenital tract.
Perform and explain a range of basic OMM techniques used to treat lesions of the
thoracic spine and extremities. These techniques will utilize:
Muscle Energy, &
High-Velocity Low-Amplitude.
Assess the conditions of and propose OMM treatment modalities for patients suffering
from lesions of the thoracic spine and extremities.
Common Mistakes
• Use of vague passive verbs such as know, understand, or be familiar with.
• Too broad or open-ended
• Describe learning processes rather than outcomes
• List content topics
• Too many for one course
• Emphasize lower order learning
Writing Effective Educational Objectives; 2.08
Bloom’s Taxonomy
of Higher Order
Skills Demonstrated
Skill/Question Cues
recall information or ideas
associate details
define ideas or processes
list, define, tell, describe, identify, show,
label, match, associate, examine, tabulate,
quote, name, attribute
grasp meaning or relevance
relate causes or motivations
translate knowledge into new
explain, summarize, interpret, paraphrase,
restate, outline, predict, clarify, relate,
distinguish, estimate, discuss, how, why
use knowledge or ideas in new
situations or areas
solve problems using method or
apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete,
illustrate, show, solve, examine, deduce,
change, classify, extend, discover,
generalize, predict, prove, hypothesize
discern similarities and differences
identify parts and types
see patterns and inconsistencies
relate hidden meanings or causes
creat new theories or
extrapolate from existing
integrate knowledge from
different areas
analyze, separate, order, group, explain,
categorize, compare, contrast, connect,
classify, arrange, divide, dissect, rank,
discriminate, prioritize, infer, interpret,
synthesis, combine, integrate, modify,
rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design,
invent, compose, construct, formulate,
prepare, propose
weigh evidence
assess value of theories or ideas
make choices based on reasoning
and evidence
recognize biases or subjectivity
resolve discrepancies
evaluate, assess, critique, resolve, decide,
determine, rank, grade, test, appraise,
prioritize, measure, recommend, convince,
defend, judge, argue, support, conclude,
Bloom, Benjamin S. (1984), Taxonomy of educational objectives. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Writing Effective Educational Objectives; 2.08