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Robert Frank Mager. EDIT 704 – Sonia Palmer. The Person. Mager’s Criterion Referenced Instruction. Criterion-Referenced Instruction (CRI) Goals/task analysis Performance objectives Criterion referenced testing Objective-based learning modules

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robert frank mager

Robert Frank Mager

Theorist Presentation

EDIT 704 – Sonia Palmer

mager s criterion referenced instruction
Mager’s Criterion Referenced Instruction
  • Criterion-Referenced Instruction (CRI)
    • Goals/task analysis
    • Performance objectives
    • Criterion referenced testing
    • Objective-based learning modules
  • Based upon the ideas of mastery learning and performance-oriented instructions.
  • No Change = Not Effective
mager s learning objectives
Mager’s Learning Objectives
  • Analysis
  • Design – Instructional Objectives
    • a collection of words and/or pictures or diagrams
    • related to intended outcomes, not the process
    • specific and measureable
    • focus = student
  • Checklist
    • condition(s)
    • performance
    • criteria
influential theories similar or related theories
Influential Theories/Similar or Related Theories
  • R. Gagne
    • Learning hierarchies provide a basis for the sequencing of instruction.
  • M. Knowles
    • Andragogy – an adult learning theory: more on self-directed process than lesson content being taught (case studies, simulations are more useful)
  • C. Rodgers
    • Experiential learning – applied knowledge that addresses the needs and wants of the adult learner
theory or research based
Theory or Research-based?
  • Referred to as both:
    • CRI is theory that involves a set of methods for designing and delivering training
    • CRI is a model/methodology. The ideas, approaches, products, seminars, workshops, and books based on criterion-referenced instruction are based on science, research into the laws of human nature.
  • The Center for Effective Performance (CEP) and others conduct workshops that use this model.
contribution to adult learning
Contribution to Adult Learning

Widely used in the adult training world

Great emphasis is placed on the instructional materials to achieve this result. Poor performance = inadequate instruction

Self-paced, repeated practice (if needed) of skills net yet mastered that includes feedback about the quality of their performance

cri points
CRI Points
  • Course description – tells what the course is about
  • Course objectives – describe what students are expected to be able to do.
    • Provide sound basis for instructional materials/procedures
    • Creativity/Tools for guiding student efforts
    • Measurable results
    • Help determine instructional efficiency
  • Allow for training to be streamlined to student needs
  • Allows for chunking of material/learner convenience
personal thoughts
Personal Thoughts
  • He really cares about the learner, and knows what it is to be a learner.
  • He is passionate about treating students with dignity and respect.
  • He believes that education should be for all learners to acquire the skills that are being taught.
  • Instruction is the process; student competence is the result.

Bottom Line – Mager’s methodology is still relevant today in classroom and also in e-learning even though certain technologies didn’t exist.

Design training first – delivery method second.


Mager, Robert. F. (1997). Preparing Instructional Objectives. 3rd Ed. Atlanta, GA. CEP Press

Mager, Robert. F. (2003) . Life in the Pinball Machine: Careening from There to Here. Atlanta, GA. CEP Press Retrieved 13 February 2013 22 Feb 2013 Retrieved 23 February 2013 2013ctionRetrieved 23 Feb 2013