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Performance Assessments

Why performance assessment?

“Relying on test items that are proxies for
genuine and worthy performance
challenges that try to measure
performance indirectly….well, instead…we
should routinely assess students’ ability to
perform on complex tasks at the heart of
each subject, scaffolding the task.”
Wiggins, Educative Assessment
How could the validity of these
assessments be improved?
The teacher taught how to setup, focus,
identify and draw pictures of objects on
glass slides.

As the end of the unit

assessment, students
labeled parts of a
microscope and
answered multiple
choice questions
about the history of
the microscope.
What about this third grade
• Oral reading skills are • The teacher uses
strongly emphasized paper-and-pencil
in this classroom, and tests that assess
a great deal of energy pupils' reading
is spent helping comprehension and
students use proper word recognition.
phrasing, vocal
expression, and clear
pronunciation when
they read aloud.
How about this health class?
• The CPR were • The end of the unit
introduced to the test had 25 true-false
concept and shown a questions over all the
movie. An EMT came information they had
to class with a learned.
practice dummy and
instructed each
student on the
Performance Tasks . . .
. . . generally occur over time

. . . result in tangible products or observable performances

. . . involve meaning-making

. . . encourage self-evaluation and revision

. . . require judgment to score

. . . reveal degrees of proficiency based on criteria established

and made public prior to the performance

. . . sometimes involve students working with others

-Marzano, Pickering, & McTighe

Analyze these situations with a
partner and be prepared to
discuss them in 5 minutes.
Taken from the book, A Teacher’s Guide to Performance-Based Learning and Assessment
• To define valued outcomes for students
• To capture students' time and attention
• To generate appropriate student learning
• To help students internalize the
discipline’s standards
• To identify opportunities for improvement
Let’s look at more examples…you
keep tabs on commonalities
between all the following tasks
Primary example
(In view of the class, place 10 caterpillars in
a box. Place a flashlight at one end, while
darkening the other by folding over the box
top.) “Do caterpillars move more to the
light or more to the dark? Make a graph
that shows how many caterpillars move to
the light and how many move to the dark
part of the box. Your graphs will be
displayed at Open House.”
Elementary school
(At several specified times during the school day,
students observe and count, for a set length of
time, the number of cars and other vehicles
going through an intersection near the school.)
“The police department is considering a traffic
light or a crossing guard at the intersection near
your school. Your help is needed to make
graphs that show how many vehicles go
through that intersection at certain times of the
day. Excellent graphs will be sent to the Chief
of Police.”
Middle or High School Example
• (Provide the students with a copy of a
speeding ticket that shows how the fine is
determined.) “How is the fine for speeding
in our state determined? Make a graph
that shows teenagers in our town how
much it will cost them if they are caught
speeding. Excellent graphs will be
displayed in the Driver's Education
• Task Description
– This assignment will
require you to
demonstrate your ability
to write clear, concise
explanation of concepts,
using correct grammar,
syntax, spelling and word
• Goal usage.
– You will select an article
– Students will communicate related to our current
information and ideas class topic. After reading
effectively. the article, you will write a
• Learning Objective report that summarizes
the major concepts of the
– Students will demonstrate article.
the ability to write clear, – This summary should be
concise explanation of at least 3 pages long and
concepts, using correct should be submitted to
grammar, syntax, spelling Blackboard by Friday.
and word usage. Using the rubric, it will be
scored based on your
• Activity explanation of the
– Write a summary report on concepts and the quality
an article. of your written work.
Did you see common elements?
• Make a list of those elements
Not new form
• Bloom called this
application and
Strengths and Limitations of
Performance Assessments
5 Common Domains for
Performance Assessment

Psychomotor Athletic
Skills Activities


Affective Skills
Constructing Tasks….

Has this ever

happened to
You have to ask yourself (and make
yourself answer) questions like these!!!
• Does the task truly • Does the assessment use
match the outcome(s) engaging tasks from the "real
you're trying to world”?
• Are the tasks fair and free from
• Does the task require bias?
the students to use
critical thinking skills? • Will the task be credible?
– Consider Bloom’s
Taxonomy • Is the task feasible?

• Is the task a worthwhile • Is the task clearly defined?

use of instructional time?
“Authenticity is essential, but
authenticity alone is insufficient to
create an effective assessment
task….most important, the tasks must
tell us how students are doing in
relation to specific achievement
targets. Thus, assessment tasks are
not instructional activities.
Wiggins, Educative Assessment.
Is having a trial of the wolf from Little Red
Riding Hood or Socrates from Plato’s
Apology using sound assessment
Consider and discuss the following
A fifth grade teacher wants to
assess student understanding
of the Civil War by having each
student build a diorama of a key
A second grade teacher
wants to assess
students’ emerging
literacy by having
them pick a book,
read it aloud, and say
if they like the book.
A 10th grade history teacher wants
to assess his Russian history unit
with a debate. A key objective was
to know and explain the rise/fall of
the Communist empire, so the
debate is to center on “Who Blew
it?” Students are to simulate
Yeltsin, Gorbachev, Khrushchev,
Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, Catherine
the Great and Tolstory.
Now you design a task…..
To ensure clarity, task descriptions for students should
• Learning target to be measured
• Clear instructions
• Resource materials
• Format of response (e.g., oral report, written report)

And yet to come in the last part of performance


• Scoring criteria
What practices
must we adopt to
achieve this kind of
Design interactive
Use reiterative core performance
tasks to measure if ability to
apply information is becoming
more sophisticated
In the light of student
misconceptions, use
assessment tasks that will
reveal if they have corrected
those misconceptions.
Require student to self-evaluate
their previous as well as current
• Conduct assessment along a continuum,
using longitudinal rubrics, not merely task
specific rubrics.
Criteria— defines the kinds of
evidence you are going to collect
and makes sure it matches your
• Grading your students?
• Diagnosing student learning?
• Helping students realize the important
steps in a performance or product?
• Providing concrete evidence of student
What is a Rubric?
• A set of explicit expectations or criteria
– Description of varying levels of performance

• Systematic method of scoring student

– Increases reliability and validity of course
Rubrics can prevent this!!!
Criteria —specific aspects a student
should perform to properly carry out the
• Identify the expected elements within
this task
• Identify possible levels of performance
– 3-5 are typical
• Craft descriptions
– Exemplary work
– Lower levels
Five Reasons to Use Rubrics
1. Rubrics tell students they must do a careful job. Information on the
expected quality of the task performed is given to students.

2. Rubrics set standards. Students know in advance what they have to

do to achieve a certain level.

3. Rubrics clarify expectations. When levels are described in clear

language, everyone knows what is required. The quality of student
work will improve.

4. Rubrics help students take responsibility for their own learning.

Students use rubrics to help study information the teacher values.

5. Rubrics have value to other stakeholders. Anyone (including

colleagues, parents and community members) seeing a rubric and a
student score based on that rubric knows what content was mastered
by that student.
Holistic or Analytical
Trait Rubrics
• Holistic rubric gives a single score or rating for
an entire product or performance based on an
overall impression of a student’s work
• Analytical trait rubric divides a product or
performance into essential traits or dimensions
so that they can be judged separately—one
analyzes a product or performance for essential
Holistic Rubric
Exemplary = 24 Proficient = 22 Acceptable= 20 Weak= 18 Unacceptable = 16
The presentation The presentation The presentation The presentation The presentation does
addresses the assigned addresses the assigned addresses the assigned addresses the assigned not address the assigned
genre. The genre is genre. The genre is genre. The genre is genre. Characteristics or genre. Characteristics or
introduced with a clear defined. Characteristics defined. Characteristics subcategories are subcategories of the
definition. All and subcategories are and subcategories are identified. The genre are not clearly
characteristics of the identified and explained. identified. An example presentation lacks identified. Examples
genre and any At least 2 examples of of the genre is examples or and instructional
subcategories are the genre are presented. presented. A suggestion instructional suggestions are not
identified and explained. At least 2 suggestions for classroom use is suggestions. A partial included. A genre
Multiple examples are for classroom use included. A bibliography bibliography is bibliography is missing.
used to illustrate the included. A bibliography of less than10 books is provided.
genre. A variety of of 10 books is provided. provided.
suggestions are provided
regarding use of the
genre in the classroom.
A bibliography 10 books
from the genre is
provided in correct APA
format. The
presentation is well-
organized, well-written
and visually attractive.
Analytic Rubric
(Exemplary ) 4 (Good) 3 (Marginal) 2 (Unacceptable) 1
Quality of Information Information clearly relates to Information clearly Information clearly relates Information has little or
the main topic and adds new relates to the main to the main topic. No nothing to do with the
concepts, information. It topic. It provides at details and/or examples main topic or simply
includes several supporting least 1 supporting are given. Provides restates the main concept.
details and/or examples. detail or example. documentation when It does not advance the
Consistently establishes Occasionally provides requested. discussion. Does not
source documentation for documentation. provide documentation for
ideas. sources.
Critical Thinking Enhances the critical thinking Some critical thinking Responds to questions Does not respond to
process consistently through and reflection is but does not engage in questions pose by the
reflection and questioning of demonstrated in premise reflection facilitator.
self and others; is a quality discussion by the
response that advances writer/responder
thoughts forward; adds to the
discussion/ is a critical
Collaboration Encourages and facilitates Responds to other Limited interactions or Responds to the
interaction among members of members of the online responses to other discussion facilitator only.
the online community. community. Reflects members of the online No interaction with peers
Reflects and evaluates own on own practices. community.
practices. Encourages
colleagues to evaluate their
Professional Language Professional vocabulary and Professional Professional vocabulary Professional vocabulary
writing style are used vocabulary and writing and writing style are used and writing style are not
consistently throughout the style are used occasionally throughout used.
discussion. frequently throughout the discussion.
the discussion.
Timeliness One thread and two One thread and one Thread or two responses Thread and responses
responses posted within time response on time. late. late
frame One response late
Don’t let the rubric
stand alone:
provide specific
“Comments” on
your rubric and/or
on the student
product itself.
Generic or Task-Specific
• Can be used across similar performances.
You’d use the same rubric for judging all
open-ended mathematics problems, all
writing, all oral presentations, all critical
thinking, or all group interaction.
• Task-specific rubrics: each one can only
be used for a single task.
• Andrade, H., & Du, Y. (2005). Student perspectives on rubric-
referenced assessment. Practical Assessment, Research and
Evaluation, 10, 3.

• Andrade, H. (2000). Using rubrics to promote thinking and learning.

Educational Leadership, 57,5. 13-18.

• Arter, J., & McTighe, J. (2001). Scoring rubrics in the classroom.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

• Montgomery, K. (2001). Authentic tasks and rubrics: Going beyond

traditional assessments in college teaching. College Teaching, 50, 1.

• Stevens, D. & Levi, A. (2005). Introduction to rubrics. Sterling, VA:

Stylus Publishing.
Web Resources
• Rubistar
• Teach-nology
• Scholastic

• Kathy Schrock’s Guide for

Works Cited/Consulted--draft
• Airaisian, Peter W. Classroom Assessment:
Concepts and Applications. McGraw Hill, 2001.
• Hibbard, Michael K, et al. A Teacher's Guide to
Performance-Based Learning and Assessment.
ASCD, 1996.
• Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTighe. “Tips for
Developing Effective Rubrics.” Understanding by
Design. ASCD,1998.
• Wiggins, Grant. Educative Assessment:
Designing Assessments to Inform and Improve
Student Performance. Jossey-Bass Publishers,