Create a Standards-Based Integrated Performance Assessment Unit Step-by-Step

Step 4: Design Performance Tasks

Creating Rubrics to Accompany the Performance Tasks

When the teachers in this video series designed their performance tasks, they kept three questions in mind:

  • What sort of tasks will provide evidence that the students have achieved the communication goals for the unit?
  • What instructions are needed to clearly describe the tasks and the required elements for the tasks?
  • What criteria will be used to evaluate the tasks and the quality of the performance?

Questions for Thought Icon
Before watching the video

Think of a unit your students have recently completed and the performance tasks they did for that unit. What criteria did you use to evaluate the tasks and the quality of the performance? List them in the box below.

Play Video Icon
As you watch the video

Note below the criteria that the teachers used to evaluate their student performances. Also, listen for comments related to student self-assessment and to the idea of non-negotiables.


Criteria teachers used to judge performance:
In the Spanish class, the teacher walks around with a clipboard to assess students as they move from place to place bartering for items in the market set up in class. Using English to check for understanding in the Interpretive Mode insures that the students understood the video of the market. Using the generic rubric from IB (International Baccalaureat is a way to communicate to the students that there are consistent expectations for achievement throughout the year.
For the Chinese presentational task, the teacher gave the students a checklist of requirements to follow in order to successfully complete the task.

Student self-assessment:
When practicing, students can refer to the rubrics and checklists to evaluate how well they are doing.

These are requirements that must be met in order for the project to be ready to be evaluated. These requirements might include project length, number of references, examples of certain structures or vocabulary.

Type Your Response icon
After watching the video

Download the 2012 Edition of ACTFL’s Performance Descriptors for Language Learners from:
The guide suggests that teachers consider the following domains (short definitions included) when evaluating student performances in the three modes of communication:

  • Functions — global tasks the learner can perform in the language
  • Contexts/Content — contexts are situations within which the learner can function; content is the topics which the learner can understand and discuss
  • Text Type — what the learner is able to understand and produce in order to perform the functions of the level
  • Language Control — answers “How accurate is the language learner’s language?”
  • Vocabulary — answers “How extensive and applicable is the language learner’s vocabulary?”
  • Communication Strategies — answers “How does the language learner maintain communication and make meaning?”
  • Cultural Awareness — answers “How is the language learner’s cultural knowledge reflected in language use?”

Compare this list to the criteria that the teachers mentioned in the video segment. Remember that the video segment included only a sampling of the details that the teachers considered in designing rubrics and scoring guides for the performance assessments for their units.


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