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Writing Measurable Objectives

Intended outcomes must be determined prior to undertaking any educational or research effort. What do you wish to accomplish (outcome) and not just do (activity), and how will you determine if you have been successful? This requires the development of measurable objectives—clearly articulated goals whose success can be measured by positive changes in knowledge, action or outcome. The following resources provide information on writing measurable objectives.

Learning Objectives
A web-based module focusing on learning objectives. It presents information and methods to develop effective learning objections, and utilizes quizzes that access one’s comprehension of the material presented. An excellent mini-lesson on the topic.

Steps to Writing Program Objectives
This tip sheet by Nancy Ellen Kiernan, Penn State University, discusses how to write program objectives. A useful step by step guide. 2001.

Get SMART: Improve Your Extension Objectives
This fact sheet by David C. Diehl and Sebastian Galindo-Gonzalez, University of Florida, explains how to develop objectives for Extension programs using the SMART model: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Provides examples that cut across a wide array of programmatic areas. 2012.

ABC's of Behavioral Objectives—Putting Them to Work for Evaluation
This Journal article by Harry N. Boone, Jr. and Deborah A. Boone, West Virginia University, discusses how to write measurable behavioral objectives that should be used for both planning and evaluation of Extension programs. Examples of well written behavioral objectives that can be used to measure impact are included. 2005.

Developing Objectives and Relating them to Assessment (PDF)
This guide by Sue Bannister, University of Western Australia, is focused on classroom teaching, but the information and methods on developing and writing measurable objectives/outcome are applicable. A good combination of theory and practice. 2002.