Continuing Medical Education

Albert F. Painter Jr., Psy.D., Assistant Dean of Faculty Affairs

Objectives Guidelines

Objectives will 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 and the speaker develop objectives to focus on the mission of CME.

Guide to Developing Objectives

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 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


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.

Add link: For more information, please read Summer 2010 CME Highlights.