Instructional design/Learning objectives/Where Criteria Comes From

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Four Areas Criterion Come From edit

To be able to understand how to correctly write criteria for an objective you will need to understand where criteria comes from. According to Robert Mager there are four main areas that criteria can be derived from:

1. Job Requirements: edit

Criteria derived from job requirements are created from the measurable needs of the specific job. Employers have gathered data to create these criteria from not only the needs but from watching different levels of performance for that task. These criteria are realistic and come from what the writer or employer expect the employee to do in order to achieve an acceptable level of performance. In other words it is unrealistic to write a criteria that calls for 100% accuracy. A 100% criteria would be considered a very tight criteria and likely not to be a realistic or cost effective effort. Employers may also set criteria for the different levels of a job, such as entry level or highly experienced.

2. Improvement Requirements: edit

These types of criteria are created from the requirements needed to be able to improve by practicing. A question to ask yourself when creating improvement criteria is, "What acceptable performance or skills must a person be able to do so they can improve by simply practicing?" It is important not to set criteria too low for improvement otherwise the persons performance may become unacceptable or be done incorrectly.

3. Academic Requirements: edit

When creating criteria for an academic environment, instructors may ask themselves:
  • What do I expect my students to be able to do when they have completed this course and how will it be measured?
  • What will they need to be able to do to meet the prerequisites for their next course? Such as advancing from English 101 to English 102.

4. Personal Experience: edit

Personal experience derived criteria is self explanatory as it comes from personal knowledge and experience. People who are correctly performing the skills already would be a valuable resource about what criteria and acceptable performance would be appropriate to the task.

Your Explanation edit


Please select edit on this frame and type an example of criteria then explain which area it came from. student will write a composition of between 100 and 150 words describing how s/he spent his X'mas holidays using the book "Gulliver's Travels" as a guide. Criteria comes from Teaching 05:55, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Pointing to Criterion edit

Mager says there are at least three ways to show criterion without actually describing it in the objective statement. This is called pointing to criterion.
  • If the criteria are explicit in another document then the objective can contain verbiage that directs where to find it. Example- according to the handbook criteria, 2008 edition page 9. Mager warns that this should only be used if the criterion is clearly stated and the document is readily available.
  • If the performance is done in procedural steps and uses a checklist type of document then pointing to that checklist can be part of the criterion in the same way as done with the other document.
  • A third form of pointing to criterion might be pointing to a performance shown on video or audio. Mager also warns here to be careful not to use media in the criteria without describing the key characteristics of the desired performance with it.

References edit

Mager, Robert F. (1997) Preparing Instructional Objectives, Atlanta, GA: The Center for Effective Performance.

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