Goals and Objectives

The terms goals and objectives are closely related, yet distinct. Although goals refer to the general aims or intended results of a program, objectives are the specific, measureable steps one takes to achieve a goal. Goals tend to be broad, intangible, and abstract; objectives are more precise, tangible, and concrete. This entry further defines goals and objectives and discusses how they relate to program development and evaluation.

Because accomplishing goals requires completing several intermediate steps, each goal is typically associated with several objectives. Well-specified goals and objectives are specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, and time bound (SMART). SMART goals and objectives are specific with regard to the desired outcome and population of interest, stipulate how the achievement of the objective will be measured, are achievable with the ...

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