Massage Medical Applications Project (MMAP)

Notes on Training Outcomes & Goal Analysis


Five Steps for Brainstorming and Clarifying Goals
(adapted from Goal Analysis by Robert F. Mager for Life in the Pinball Machine)

  1. Write down each goal on a separate piece of paper. Keep the end in mind—the goal is the outcome, not the process. Don’t worry if the goal is abstract or not observable, you'll clarify that in the next step.
  2. Write a list of activities and characteristics that would cause you to agree that the goal has been achieved. Remember, these statements have to be observable. Combine or delete duplicates and cross off items that aren't necessary.
  3. Here you might see that some of your items actually describe outcomes. Write each one down as a new goal on a separate piece of paper and repeat Step 2 until you have only one goal with a corresponding list of observable activities and characteristics on each page. Now look at these goals and decide which ones best describe the issue you are trying to address. Can you combine or eliminate any goals?
  4. Write a complete statement for each of the observable activities and characteristics of each goal. These statements should describe observables (quality and/or quantity) that you will consider acceptable. These can be positive (must be present) or negative (not present).
  5. Test each statement from Step 4 with the question, “If someone performed this activity or characteristic, is the goal achieved?” If you can answer yes to each item on the list, then you are finished. If not, you have left something out.

Work in Progress

I have started to play around with defining the fields for capturing outcome definitions. This XML file on entry-level outcomes is both very. very rough and preliminary and will require you to look at field-tags (i.e. no style-sheet yet), but it does capture some thoughts in progress. This is a follow-up to a post I made to the Bodywork_Politics email-list. The essence of that post is:

If there is core knowledge that the state deems essential, it should either be stipulated as outcomes or left to the regulatory agency to stipulate. This could be phrased like, "The regulatory agency may stipulate inclusion of specific training outcomes based on evidence of significant public benefit". That provides for better flexibility and leaves specific implementation up to those teaching. Potential examples of outcome specifications are:

Note that I've also addressed implicitly the issue of CEs above. They should be designed to ensure that critical specific information is periodically refreshed. For example, as a first aid volunteer at work, I have requirements for biannual refreshers in CPR and in blood borne pathogens. The latter course is a 30-minute (or so) web-based course (Yea for distance education!).

Implementation Principles