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A Grid for Comparing Different Options

Each week, Instant Meeting presents an idea or activity that you might use to make staff meetings more interesting, teacher-centered, educational, or fun.

Brief Description/Purpose

An Option Comparison Grid is a graphic way to look at how well different options meet your agreed-on criteria.

Materials Needed

Flip chart paper or, even better, a larger piece of paper (4'x6') that you can tape to a flat wall. You'll need watercolor markers, since permanent markers will bleed through the paper to the wall.

Time Required


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The exercise can be done in 20-40 minutes depending of the size of the group and the complexity of the issue.

"Instant Meeting" Idea

Imagine that your hiring team is looking at three finalists for a teacher in your gifted and talented program. The candidates are great, but each brings a slightly different background and set of skills. How can you compare them effectively and make a clear choice?

First, you must take a close look at the criteria you have established for the position.

  • Some of those criteria may be "must haves" -- such as educational requirements, or certification or experience in special education for the gifted.
  • Some may be "added value criteria" -- the individual might have a high energy level, add to the diversity of the faculty, a background in science, or track record of collaborating well with other teachers.

When the criteria are agreed on, use a large sheet of paper and construct a grid with the criteria listed down the left side (include a space for extra comments) and the candidates' names listed across the top.

  • First, check off the "must have" criteria to ensure that each candidate meets that standard.
  • Next, check off the "added value" criteria and mark whether or not the candidate brings that extra value.
  • Last, add any additional comments that may weigh on your decision in the bottom box.

Now you should have a pretty clear visual image of which candidate best meets your criteria.

Sample diagram:

Criteria Candidate
A
Candidate B Candidate
C
Must have Criteria:      
Masters in Education or related field
 
YES YES YES
Certified teacher YES YES YES
Experience in teaching gifted YES YES NO
       
Added Criteria:      
High energy YES NO YES
Adds diversity to staff NO YES NO
Science background YES YES NO
Collaborates well with other teachers YES NO NO
Additional Comments: Received very positive comments from parents Is fluent in Spanish Some references mentioned a problem with collaboration

This idea was submitted by Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb, authors of Great Meetings, Great Results! Be sure to visit the Great Meetings Web site to learn more about Dee and Pam, their book, workshops, and other products and services.

 

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