7.9: How will you know it? – The indicators

An indicator is the evidence or information that represents the phenomenon you are asking about.

For example:

  • Indicator of fire = smoke
  • Indicator of Academic Achievement = good grades

Indicators help you know something. They define the data that will be collected. They can be seen (observed), heard (participant response), read (agency records), felt (climate of meeting), touched, or smelled. It is the evidence that indicates what you wish to know–that answers your questions.

For each aspect you want to measure, ask yourself these questions. Invite others to provide their perspectives.

  • What would it look like?
  • How would we know it?
  • If I were a visitor, what would I see, hear, read that would tell me this “thing” exists; what would answer my question?

Let’s Practice!

Think of possible indicators for each phenomenon below. Write one possible indicator and then submit it to see our answer. There can be many indicators, so one answer may not be better than another.

Blood pressure cuff.
Corn field with shoots about one foot high.
Brick houses with neat yards and gardens.
Man and woman in a movie theater with popcorn.
Kitchen showing sink, refrigerator and microwave.
Carpenter hammering 2 boards together.

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