In health promotion, objectives play a central role. Objectives are aims and desired results that a person or organization commits to achieving. This study develops an intervention program to promote health by preventing obesity. The proposed intervention program targets elementary schools and consists of a policy change to incorporate Physical Education (PE) lessons for all students and a physical activity program to be offered for free after school. This essay sets the program’s objectives by evaluating the elements of good objectives, deriving various objectives for the program and highlighting the indicators to measure each objective.
4a: Elements of Well Written Objectives
Objectives are realistic targets and well written objectives are focused and active. In general, objectives answer the question of who will do what, when, why and to what standard (Phillips, J., & Phillips, P., 2008). To answer these questions, any objective must have four elements. The first element is that the objective must give the outcome to be achieved. This answers the “what” question. The outcomes should be stated in active tense and using strong verbs such as; plan, write or produce instead of weak verbs such as understand, feel or learn. Using strong verbs allows the objective to be focused and the outcomes to be measurable.
The second element of a good objective is that it must give the target population. Highlighting the target population answers the question of “who.” The target population affects all aspects of the study because all the objectives and methods used to determine the indicators must be consistent with the target population (Brocke & Roseman, 2010). The third element of a good objective is it gives the conditions under which the outcome is to be observed. This is usually a time limit and answers the question “when.” The final element of a good objective is that it gives the criteria for determining if the outcome has been achieved and answers the question “to what standard.”
4b: Program Objectives
- Process objective – by the end of the year, at least 70% of elementary school children in the study location will be participating in the after-school physical activity program.
- Learning Objective – by the end of the year, at least 80% of elementary school children in the study area will be able to identify 5 physical activities they will be using to combat obesity without the teachers prompt or cue.
- Environmental/Policy objective – by the end of the year, all elementary schools in the study area will have enacted and implemented policies requiring that all students receive PE lessons.
- Behavioral objective – by the end of the year, elementary school children in the study area will be able to apply at least one physical activity in order to combat obesity in their every day life.
- Outcome objective – by the end of the year, the number of obese children at elementary school will have reduced by 30%.
4C: Objective Indicators
- Process objective indicator – collected data on student participation in after-school physical activities before the program begins and one year at the programs end
- Learning objective indicator – assessment through questionnaires on various types of physical activities the students will be using to combat obesity
- Environmental/policy objective – collected data on the schools which have compulsory PE lessons before the program begins and one year later at the end of the program
- Behavioral objective – observational data on the number of students participating in physical activities
- Outcome objective – collected data on the percentage of obese students before and after the program
Brocke, V. J. & Roseman, M. (2010). Handbook on Business Process Management 1. New
York, NY: Springer.
Phillips, J. J. & Phillips P. P. (2008). Beyond Learning Objectives: Develop Measurable
Objectives that link to the Bottom Line. Danvers, MA: American Society for Training and Development