Constructing Performance-based Assessments

“Designing Specifications, Checklists, Rating Scales, and Rubrics”

Workshop presentation and materials prepared by:

Carol Myford, Department of Educational Psychology (Emerita)

This was a two-part interactive workshop aimed at strengthening faculty’s knowledge of how to devise performance-based assessments- assessments in which students demonstrate their abilities to use their knowledge and performance skills by creating a product or carrying out a process, or both, and faculty use clearly defined criteria to evaluate student work. In the first session, participants learned about designing the specifications for a performance-based task. We discussed different types of performance-based assessments, their strengths and limitations, and appropriate uses of this assessment method. Participants examined their own course syllabi to identify one or more objectives that seemed suitable for this assessment method. They then created the design specifications and student instructions for a performance-based task that they could administer to help them determine whether their students met the objective(s). Participants also identified and defined the criteria that they wanted to use to evaluate their students’ performances (or products). In the second session, participants learned how to turn criteria into checklists and various types of rating scales (i.e. numerical, graphic, descriptive graphic) and rubrics (i.e. holistic, analytic, generic, task specific). We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each type of assessment tool, their defining characteristics, appropriate uses of these tools, and the steps to follow when creating each one. Participants took the criteria that they had identified and used t hem to create one or more assessment tools.

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Workshop Material (available to UIC users only)

Material provided by Dr. Carol Myford is available to UIC users via the following link:

Workshop material is organized in four groups:

  • Application Activities
  • PowerPoint Presentations¬†
  • Readings for Faculty¬†
  • Supplemental Resources-Lists of Verbs