A Continuing Medical Education (CME) activity needs-assessment is performed prior to developing CME activities to determine what health care providers need to learn. Needs assessments enable one to identify and measure gaps between what is and what ought to be, from which program goals and objectives can then be identified.
Conducting an assessment is a way to collect information that can be used to decide what type of educational information will be perceived as relevant and useful.
A critical aspect of planning a CME activity is formulating the learning objectives. Once the needs assessment has been analyzed, however, and the needs have been determined, objectives must be developed. The objectives should support the needs assessment findings.
A few primary types of objectives are below:
- Learner objectives: state what the learner should know or be able to do at the end of a learning activity.
- Teaching objectives: state what the instructor intends to accomplish during a learning activity.
- Behavioral objectives: state what the learner might be able to do differently resulting from what has been learned.