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A learning objective is an active description of what the attendee will be able to demonstrate because of the educational experience. Objectives must clearly identify the topic and its relationship to the practice of pharmacy. TPA and ACPE encourage education programs to use active learning methods. Objectives must reflect the actions or skills the attendee will use or develop in their practice of pharmacy. When developing objectives, consider the following three elements:


  • Identify the observable behavior (verbal or non-verbal) that will be accepted as evidence the learner has achieved the objective.
  • Use action words to describe observable action and use one action word per objective
  • Use an objective statement for each outcome.



  • Define the conditions under which the behavior is expected to occur. Consider:
    • What will the learner be provided?
    • What will the learner be denied?
    • What are the conditions under which the behavior is expected to occur?
  • Do not describe the instruction method or process itself as an objective.
  • Objectives should be appropriate for the method of instruction utilized


Level of Acceptable Performance

  • Specify minimum level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the objective.
    • Examples of minimum level include: minimum time, minimum number of correct responses, number of principles that must be identified, percentage or proportion of a given entity, etc.
  • Objectives should be measurable within the timeframe of the educational program


Click here to download instructions on developing learning objectives.