The IDEAL – Topic: Criterion Referenced Instruction (CRI)

Icon of section IDEAL (Instructional Designer's Evolution through Analytical Learning)- Creative Agni ezine.

Training, instructional Design Cartoon of Sloth talking about Criterion-referenced instruction and tests.

Criterion-referenced instruction is built around the premise that a learner should be able to fulfill the criterion of meeting the learning objective. So it focuses upon designing a training program or a course in a way that it enables all the learners to achieve a specific level of skill or meet the pre-defined learning objectives. The concept of criterion-referenced instruction is attributed to Dr. Robert Mager.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you conduct task analysis to determine the training/learning goal?
  • Do you break the goal down into measurable performance objectives?
  • Do you design content in a way that the learning needs required for meeting each of the objectives, are satisfied?
  • Do you create assessment activities against each objective and design them in a way that you can check whether or not the learner is able to meet the objective at the defined Bloom’s level?

If your content design and development process includes the above, you are engaged in creation of criterion-referenced instruction. So, Sloth shouldn’t worry 🙂 He doesn’t have to do anything different at all.

Reflection Questions:

  • Is criterion-referenced instruction and assessment, more appropriate for some special kind of training programs?
  • Are there times when you would not like to use criterion-referenced instruction?