Instructional design/Learning objectives/Criterion

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

One of the three components of an effective well-formed objective is the criteria. No matter how well the objective has been written, without a clear and specific way to measure whether the student has achieved an appropriate level of performance, the objective is flawed. In this lesson you will learn the definition of well-formed criteria and some of the advantages it gives to instructors and learners. Examples and information about where criteria comes from will help the learner to correctly answer the quizzes and gives their own explanations that are offered throughout. A self-test will help the learner to remember some of the key concepts from this lesson. Topics include:

  • Defining Criterion
  • Examples and Non-Examples of Criterion Phrases
  • Where Criteria Comes From
  • Criterion Self-Test

Defining Criterion[edit | edit source]

Criteria or sometimes called degree or standard is a statement that tells the learner to what degree of accuracy or quantity they must achieve in order to demonstrate an acceptable level of performance. In other words, criteria provides the measurable portion of a well formed objective. It specifically tells the learner what they must do to reach an acceptable level of performance. Criteria can be defined in several ways; speed, accuracy, quality and quantity.

  • Speed- gives a time limit in which the acceptable performance must be completed. For example:
  • within 45 seconds
  • under 60 minutes
  • Accuracy- gives a range of acceptable performance. For example:
  • with no more than 3 incorrect answers
  • within 1/16 of accuracy
  • Quality- gives a degree or grade of excellence which can be measured by subjective evaluation or matching.
  • correctly scoring 90% from an expert panel
  • exceeding 8 out of 10 standards
  • Quantity- gives an amount or count.
  • producing at least 12 dozen widgets
  • writing at least 100 words

Robert Mager tells us that by using the “yardstick” of criteria in our objectives we strengthen their usefulness and give learners and educators several advantages including:

  • A standard to test the success of the instruction.
  • A gage for students to know whether they have achieved or exceed expectations.
  • Provides information that the instructor can use to prove that students can do what has been given to them to accomplish (1997).

References[edit | edit source]

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

Virginia Tech. "Lesson Six, Writing Objectives" Retrieved March 2008 from website: [1]

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