Where Do Your Learning Objectives Come From?

October 13, 2010 at 12:21 am Leave a comment

How many times have you sat in an educational activity wondering how the heck you are going to apply what the speaker is talking about in your work setting? The same thing happens to our physician learners all of the time. In these situations speakers often have to spend a lot of time “selling’ the audience on the fact that what is being discussed is important to their practice. Not a very effective advanced organizer. Can we do anything in designing our learning activities that can short circuit the need to convince the learners that they need to learn what is being taught?

One answer is doing the hard work of being sure our instructional and learning objectives are relevant to improving the work the learners are engaged back home. This seems obvious – but the difficulty comes when our learners are back in the practice setting where they need to have a strategy to successfully apply what was taught so that doing so becomes reinforcing rather than extinguishing.

Our instructional and learning objectives must be derived from an in depth understanding of current practice and the eventual application of a more desired set of behaviors in the practice setting. These are the gaps from which objectives are to be derived. We’re required by the ACCME to do this heavy lifting. Part of that heavy lifting is a careful analysis of current and desired behaviors that leads to an understanding of why the gap exists and of how our learners can apply what is being taught back in their practice. Without this understanding we need to ask ourselves the question. “Do I have a good enough understanding of their application in practice to design content that will help the learner develop strategies they can use to apply what is being taught? If not we need to do the work that leads us to that point.

Where do your instructional and learning objectives come from?

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Entry filed under: CME, CME Issues, Continuing Medical Education, Improvement, PI CME. Tags: , , , , , .

Improving Quality Improvement in Medical Education Has commercial support for CME bottomed out?

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