Why are we asking for learning outcomes?

 

The Restorative Reproductive Medicine Educational Webinar series, including Grand Rounds, Journal Club, Teacher Series and quarterly Research Updates, is accredited with AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) for continuing education credits (CME). Each 60 minute webinar is accredited for 1.0 prescribed come credits and should include at least 5-10 minutes of questions or discussion at the end, usually facilitated by the host and speaker (s) through live chat and Q & A with the audience, but can also include pre-planned polls or live discussion. Members and attendees have to attend for 50 minutes in order to receive prescribed credit and complete a short online evaluation after the webinar is complete. These continuing education credits are reciprocally recognized by other organizations for CME including the CCFP (College of Family Physicians of Canada) and the AMA  (American Medical Association).  We also are also a registered provider with the EACCME (European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education) for European-based activities. 

This process above requires us to submit learning outcomes for webinars given in the upcoming calendar year. If you are new to developing learning outcomes we have some quick tips and examples below. If you need any assistance or have questions please email Kathleen.  

The overall learning outcomes for the IIRRM's Live Educational Webinar Series for RRM are:

  1. To appreciate infertility as a chronic condition for women and men with implications for long-term health and medical management.
  2. To understand the role of environmental exposures, chemicals, and some pharmaceuticals in disrupting natural fertility and reproductive function in women and men.
  3. To review and discuss clinical cases of infertility and reproductive health to improve management in women and men.
  4. To update participants about ongoing research related to understanding and supporting normal fertility and reproductive function in women and men.
  5. To evaluate current and emerging evidence for medical and surgical care that supports normal fertility and reproductive function in women and men.
  6. To appreciate the impact of evidence-based complementary forms of medicine on normal fertility and reproductive function in women and men

Writing Learning Objectives for CME Activities: Some Quick Tips and Examples

 

Learning objectives should state what the participant is expected to learn and be able to do as a result of participating in the activity. They should be stated in measurable terms. They should connect the identified educational need(s) to the desired outcome(s) and are supported by/developed from the content of the educational activity (your webinar presentation).

Note: A learning objective is not a listing of what the “teacher” will do or provide. In CME, objectives are written in terms of what the physician will do in the practice setting with the information being taught.

An example format to introduce the statement of educational objectives is:

“At the conclusion of this activity/session/course, participants should be able to ....”

Then state what the participants should be able to do.  Follow this simple format while keeping the list of verbs by your side to ease the task of writing a good set of objectives.

EXAMPLES:

CORRECT (specific, measurable)

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

1. Define and describe the different forms of visuo-spatial disorders.

2. Choose proper assessment methods and identify clinical significance.

INCORRECT (too vague, not measurable)

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

1. Understand visuo-spatial disorders.

2. Learn the underlying pathophysiology.

Learning should objectives contain two major parts:

  1. A noun – the content to be learned

a.  Examples: disease processes, new treatment guidelines, procedural skills

  1. A verb – the process or skill to be learned

b.  Examples: define, recite, compare and contrast, demonstrate

The verb selected should be achievable based on the educational content presented. For example, expecting a learner to list the steps necessary to perform a thoracentesis is different than expecting the learner to demonstrate a thoracentesis. The educational method(s) used will help determine the achievability of the learning objectives. For example, a one-hour didactic lecture on thoracentesis would allow a learner to list the steps necessary to perform a thoracentesis. However, a 3 hour hands on simulation activity would be more appropriate to allow a learner to demonstrate a thoracentesis.

A list of suggested verbs for learning objectives is at the end of this article. Avoid verbs such as appreciate, believe, have faith in, be familiar with, know, learn, and understand.

A useful method for writing learning objectives follows the Kern and Thomas Approach1

This approach facilitates the construction of a measurable learning objective that contain a “noun” and a “verb”. The learning objective is created using the following framework:

Online Resources:

1) AAFP Guidelines: https://www.aafp.org/dam/AAFP/documents/cme/faculty_development/LearningObjectivesGuidelines.pdf

2) https://medicine.wright.edu/continuing-medical-education/objectives-guidelines

3) http://jeffline.jefferson.edu/jeffcme/application/intake/files/guidelines_learning_objectives.pdf

3) https://med.stanford.edu/content/dam/sm/CME/documents/Resources/effective-objectives.pdf

 

1Kern, D.E., Thomas, P.A. & Hughes, M.T. (Eds.). (2010) Curriculum development for medical education: a six-step approach. Johns Hopkins University Press.