Academics' Choice Awards Criteria for distinguishing WINNERS
When assessing overall value, we evaluated many attributes, including:
Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) The product develops imagination and/or inventiveness (creative thinking), or evaluation (critical thinking), or problem solving and decision making, or investigation, or ability to compare and contrast, or analytical skills, etc.
Much of our criteria for evaluating the presence of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) were developed by modeling techniques from professors at James Madison University and Cornell University.
General Thinking Skills and Standards The product develops comprehension, logic, visual perceptual skills, and other general thinking skills, also called Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS).
The product (depending on type ) addresses various standards, including the Common Core Standards, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards, State Dept. of Education Content Standards, Voluntary National Subject Area Standards, Gifted Program Standards from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), and others.
Character Building The product develops and/or encourages responsibility, honesty, caring, fairness, cooperation, respect, and other relatively universal values.
Ease of First/Simultaneous/Repeat Use The product is relatively easy for the intended audience to get started and continue. Instructions/directions were clearly written and easy to follow. The product can be used by more than one student at a time. The product attracts genuine desire to replay/reuse.
Quality/Durability The product is well-made, able to endure usage from the intended audience. The product is something teachers and retailers would be proud to have on their shelves, and/or parents would give as a mind-building gift.