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ERIC Number: ED545334
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
Multi-Attribute Consensus Building Tool
Shyyan, Vitaliy; Christensen, Laurene; Thurlow, Martha; Lazarus, Sheryl
National Center on Educational Outcomes
The Multi-Attribute Consensus Building (MACB) method is a quantitative approach for determining a group's opinion about the importance of each item (strategy, decision, recommendation, policy, priority, etc.) on a list (Vanderwood, & Erickson, 1994). This process enables a small or large group of participants to generate and discuss a set of items, weight the importance of each item, and debrief their weightings to either reach consensus or identify the sources of differences in participants' perceptions. The MACB method can be used in small or large group settings where there is a need to prioritize items based on participants' opinions. Although this method stimulates consensus building through the use of participatory decision making and weighting the importance of items, it is important to be aware that it is not always easy to reach consensus. Participants' perceptions of items can remain unchanged even though they have participated in a consensus-building process. According to Lewis and Johnson (2000), MACB is appropriate when judgments are required as part of a decision-making process. They note that MACB "structures the decision process for an individual or group of stakeholders who rank several alternatives." MACB requires a comparison of two or more alternatives. This report provides steps for introducing MACB to a group of any size, using MACB with a small group (4-12 people), and using MACB with a large group (more than 12 people).
National Center on Educational Outcomes. University of Minnesota, 207 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsburg Drive Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Tel: 612-626-1530; Fax: 612-624-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center on Educational Outcomes; Council of Chief State School Officers; National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)