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Mission analysis

chapter 4

the major purpose of a system analysis is to identify the requirements for problem solving and
possible ways to accomplish each requirement. from a delineated problem based on documented
needs, we analyze the problem to identify all the characteristic of the problem, we determine
interrelations among the parts of the problem, and we specify the measurable requirement for reaching
the best solution for the overall problem and for solving each subpart of the problem.

frequently educational problems are identified in relatively global and diffuse term; however, an
educational planner on an educational designer is required to determine the exact nature of the
problem so that a precise referent is available against which further analysis, design, implementation,
and evaluation may take place. for instance, an educational mission (overall job) of developing each
child to his own capacity provides little usable information to a planner. what is necessary is a more
precise goal statement covering the actual range of capacities and the entry characteristics of the
learners and identifying the actual skills and knowledges that are required for successfull completion of
the mission. specification of exactly what is to be done as a result of planned activity is usually a gritty,
grinding experience the first few times it is undertaken. however, as with any other learned behavior,
the associated skills improve, and each time system analysis is applied to educational planning, less time
and effort are required. (remember the first time you slipped behind the wheel of a car to learn how to
drive, confronting an array of knobs, levers, and pedals? surely this was a skill far too complex for you to
master. in retrospect, driving was fairly simple to learn, and for the most part we now drive relatively
automatically).

with practice, the skills required in system analysis will become easier and easier to use, and the results
from valid educational planning should be well worth the effort.

Although the needs (gaps) may be many and varied, and although they may come from many
sources, the educational problem - solving effort is most efficient and effective when legitimate high-
priority problems are identified and analyzed and are based on documented needs as described in the
previous chapter. it might be useful here to recall from chapter 3 on needs assessment and from the
introductory material in chapter 2 the relationship between needs and problems. an educational needs
as we define it here, is a measurable gap between our current outcomes and our desired (or required)
outcomes. when we perform a needs assessment we end up with a number of gaps which are placed in
priority order, and the gaps to be eliminated are stated. the gaps, once selected for action are the
problems. thus, problems are selected gaps (needs). if we have no gaps, then we have no problems.

What is a mission ?

A mission is an overall job a product , a completed service , or a change in the conditon of something or
somebody - that must be accomplished as we have previously said, missi analysis is a determination of
"where we are going," "how we know when we have arrived ," and "what the major stepa are to get
from here to there." Since education planning should consistently build on acquired analytical data, the
planner must be sure that the date being used are as complete, correct, and current as possible. A valid
and precise base for making this first and crucial product or outcome comitment is imperateve.

Mission Analysis Elements

As defined here, misson analysis consists of to element:

1. Mission objective and associated performence requirements.

2. Mission profile.

Both of these element are described, along with the process by which they are derived.

The mission objective

A. Mission objective is a precise statement expressed in performance terms which qualifies the
outcome of a mission . The mission objective may derive from a goal relative to meeting a need.
The purpose of fram-ng a mission objective is to translate such an intent into the measurable.
most general - yet inclusive- statement of the outcome (mission) that can be made. Examples of
mission for an educational planner could include such directives as :
1. Build a high school.
2. Determine leaner needs in the melton school district.
3. hire new teachers

4. Develop an instructional media center.

Although many problemar are given to us these terms, the foregoing mandates do not contain
enough information to allow planners to go to work, we have be more explicit if we are to proceed
with confidence that our effort will be efficient and effective.

mission objectives are performance objectives that specify outcomes in measurable terms, they
require the same degree of specificity as any other performance or behavioral objectives, such as
those described by mager (1961). Therefore, a mission objective must state preciisely the following
conditions for the final outcome:

1. What is to be done demonstrate compilation?

2. By whom it is to be done: that is, who will display the outcome ?

3. Under what conditions is the outcome to be demonstrated ?

4. what criteria will be used to determine if the outcome has been achieved?

thus mission objectives designate exactly where one is going and/or what isto be produced. look
at the following hypothetical mission objectives:
Unacceptable: design a Currculum. (this is a Statement of gross intent, not a mission objective.)

Better: By June 30, 1978. at leas 90 percent of physics learners whit XYZ characteristics in the
cox school district will achieve Z performance on L criterion measure. (This objective is more specifik
and precise than its predecessor. It states precisely what is going to be done, under what condition,
and to what degree: therefore, it better meets the regulation is for a mission objective.)

In performing a mission analysis , then, we start by specifying what has to be done: the
statemen of the mission is the first step. some examples of starting points might be:

1. When using a full system approach model, the needs assessment data will directly provide the
mission objective and perfornance requirement in the "what Scould be" statement.

1. Get a man on mars and retrieve him, unharmen, before 1990.

2. reduce reported traffic accidents is california by 15 percent next year.

3. eliminate illiteracy in janlce country within five years

Notice that each of the foregoing statements has both quantitative and qualitative aspects. let
us break down the first illustration:

What is to be done? get to mars

by? whon A man

under what condition? by 1990, whit abudget of SX.

What criteria (how much or how well) Retum trif, 1000 percent, and unharmed.

In order to assure communication, the terms and performance cruteri used ina mission
objective must be understood by all who deal with that objective and its accomplishment: thus
these items must also include the basis for evaluation. since loose or nebulous terms such as
appreciate and feel are not meaningful unless of misconception or misinterpretation.

The Las charateristic of a mision objective, which is more closely related to curriculum
objectives than to managerial and administrative objective, is the requirement to "focus onthe
learning."
There are, then, four conditions stated in a useful mission objective and together they must
show at least thee characteristics:

conditions

1. What is to be done to demonstrate completion?

2. By whom it is to be done?

3. Under what conditions it is to be done?

4. What criteria will be used to determine it is done? (How much or how well it is to be done?

Characteristics

Objectives must communicate success fully to all users and evaluators. All of the conditions for
results and must contain the basis for evaluations: they must focus on the learner, and the must be
in measurable performance terms which are valid and should leave no room for confusion.

Let us identify a hypothetical misson and "walk it throught" as a planner might do in deriving an
adequately stated mission objective.

we might begin with a statement of the mission (i.e what we want to accomplish). revising an
refining this statement of intent until it has evolved to a performance objective.

1. "Improve California education."

We must refine this gross statement until it is more precise. ultimately relating to reducing or
eliminating a defined and documented need.

2. "Increase California student mastery of critical skill and knowledge areas and improve self-
concept of learners."

the planner has refined further-by specifying the fundamental critical skill and knowledge areas that
also might be associated with how a student perceives himself. Continuing:

3. "Measurably improve California in-school student mastery in reading and arithmetic, and produce
an increase in self-concept of learners." Continuing:

4. increase california in-school student performance as meas-ured by x valid arithmetic test by 10


and 12 percent mean improvments,respectively,and improve learner self-concept significantly
among these learners as measured by q valid instrument within two years.

statement 1 has been transformed into an acceptable objective by supplying performance criteria
and the bases for evalution,as we become more precise,we drive a mission objective that is realistic
and assessable and,moreover,communicates the product or outcome precisely with virtually no
margin for misinterpretation.
Performance requirements

it should be apparent that precise,measurable criteria for describing and determining outcome
form a critical element in the statment of a mision objective.these criteria are termed performance
requirements.

the ultimate result of the accomplishment of a mission is the creation of a product or the
achievement of a specific, measurable outcome performance requirements for the mission provide
the exact specifications by which success (or failure) of the mission may be measured. they include
the following:

1. Specifications stating the criteria by which the terminal success of the mission objecive may
be measured-what the product will look like or actually do.
2. Specifications stating the context or "ground rules" under which the product is to be
ptoduced, such as enviroment, costs, personel, and other "givens."

Performence Requirement Defined

A. Performence requirement is comprised of the measurable criteria that describe the product of
the mission or the outcome from performing.

1. There must be learner achievement whit the program to the criterion level of 90/90 (90 percent
of learner whit score 90 percent or better the criterion test) when the resulting curriculum package
is used by the specified target population and the test items are related to the defined needs.

2. The curriculum package (program) must not cost more than $ 4.25.

3. Eighty-five percent of all learners using the package will complete it to mastery within two hours.

4. Two of the five achool board members are opposed to this project.
Fill in the blanks
1. A mission objective must fulfill the pollowing three requirements:
a. ......................................................................................................
b. ......................................................................................................
c. (For curriculum design): ..............................................................

2. We call the desription of the of the product of the mission, its specification, tolerances,
characteristics, and resfrictions-generally "givens" by the cllent-the
.......................................................................... these tell what the product must
.......................................................................... and/or .................................................
3. The mission profile is a sequence or.............................. representing the major milestones that
must be passed to accomplish the mission : ............................ it is considered to be the
.............................................. to mission achivement,
4. Before the mission profile can be derived, the ........................................................ and
................................................... must be identified.
Answer the following questions
5. What is the role of the mission objective?
6. What is the role of the performance requirements?
7. State, how the mission objective, performance requirements, and mission profile relate to
one another an collectively in what order they are derived and why this order must be
maintained.
8. What is the relation between the mission analysis and what is to following a complete system
analysis?
9. Design a criterion measure for the performance objective on page 56 that would test the
performance of the learner in term of the stated objective.
10. Write ten objective test questions that relevant concepts in the mission analysis chapter.