Writing Behavioral Objectives
Each educational offering must have measurable and achievable objectives for the learner to meet. The following guidelines have been developed to assist you in writing your objectives. In general, behavioral objectives are defined for each continuing educational offering and are used as a basis for determining the content and learning activities, and for evaluating the effectiveness of the offering. The objectives indicate the relationship to the profession and/or the bodies of knowledge, which contribute to standards of practice in that profession. Objectives must be clearly stated, appropriate for the audience, relevant and attainable for the allotted time, observable, and measurable. Behavioral objectives describe what the learner will be able to do after participating in the offering. They will complete the sentence: "After completing this offering, the participant will be able to...".
Characteristics of behavioral objectives:
- Contain one action verb from the cognitive, affective, or psychomotor domains
- Tell about the behavior or performance of learners Concerns the ends rather than the means; the exit behavior rather than the learning process.
- Describes the conditions under which the learner will be performing exit behavior
- Includes information about the level of performance that will be considered acceptable
- Measurable in terms of observable behavior
Suggested verbs in the affective domain:
- acknowledge - practices - selects - supports
- shares – argues - is accountable - shows awareness – debate - takes a stand
Suggested verbs in the psychomotor domain:
- carries out according to procedure - carries out
- demonstrates skill in using - is skill full in using
Suggested verbs in the cognitive domain:
- define – repeat - record – name – recall - list - identify - recognizes
- translate – express – explain – describe – discuss – identify - restate locate – report - Cite examples – conclude – review - predict - differentiate - select interpret - estimate
- interpret – apply – employ – use – demonstrate - illustrate - operate practice - develop - relate
- distinguish – analyze – differentiate – calculate – contrast – test - compare solve – diagram - categorize
- compose – plan – design – formulate – arrange – construct – create organize - prepare - classify
- judge – evaluate – rate – compare – revise – score - select – choose - assess estimate – measure - critique
- After completing this offering the participant will be able to list four causes of myocardial infarction.
- After completing this offering the participant will be able to identify two major risk factors of Type 11 diabetes mellitus.
- After completing this offering the participant will be able to define community health.
- After completing this offering the participant will be able to differentiate between Type I and Type II diabetes mellitus.
- After completing this offering the participant will be able to compare two surgical options for the treatment of gallbladder disease.
- After completing this offering the participant will be able to organize a plan of care for the patient suffering from fibromyalgia.
Johnson & Johnson. Assuring Learning with Self-Instructional Packages. Self Instructional Packages, Inc., 1973.
Reilly, DE. Behavioral Objectives. Evaluation in Nursing. 2nd Edition. New York, Appleton-Crofts, 1980.