Rubrics for Performance Based Assessments 
Measuring Performance - Then and Now:

How are you measuring what students should know and what students should be able to do?

The historical means of standardized, selected-response testing such as true/false and multiple choice testing may not be the best indicator of student performance. While it would be difficult to completely eliminate this form of testing, it can be supplemented with Performance Based Analysis and Assessments.

Assessment Management Systems have become more and more popular in the K-12 Academic Sector and what makes these popular is that they save the teacher time by building assessments and then by automatically grading those assessments. Assessment and Testing systems like AllofE’s ExamN do this quite well. So now the question is with Performance Based Assessments, you don’t have one correct answer so how does a teacher grade that in a standardized and shall we say objective manner? And not only how does a teacher grade it but how can we make it as quick and easy as possible?

This is where Rubric based grading comes into play. A lot of teachers are already using some form of rubrics to assess and evaluate their students, measure learning, and tie curriculum to learning. For the most part, this is a manual, paper-based process.

Working with school districts for so many years and seeing how they use rubrics, we started thinking - why can the management of rubrics not be automated just like everything else? And then we looked into all the possible questions that could arise - what if our rubric format is different than his and his is different than hers and how do we account for all possible formats from mastery rubrics to weighted rubrics to standards based rubrics? So we took all of that into account when we designed and developed our Rubric Management Module.

Rubric Management Module - How it Works:

1.  Class Information Management

At the top you have your class information and tied to that are the students that are in the class and the teacher that teaches the class.

2.  Student Information Management

Whether it comes from a student information system or somewhere else, you have information about each student and their grades related to the assignments and tests for a course.

3.  Teacher Information Management

Then you have your teachers who can be teaching one or more classes with any number of students and assessments.

4.  Assessment Management

Now a key piece – measuring student learning through assessments. Whether it is paper-based, system-based, selected response or performance-task oriented assessments, teachers are administering and managing them on almost a daily basis. AllofE provides its ExamN system to help teachers manage this information. From question banks to multiple question formats to automatic grading, it does pretty much everything. To learn more about the system, visit

5.  Performance Task Management

Not only is managing the selected response (true/false, multiple choice) questions important but also performance based tasks. Through ExamN, teachers can create selected response question formats as well as task based or open ended formats. And all of this is stored in reusable question banks that can be administered at the district level, teacher level, or both and they can be shared.

6.  Rubric Management

Ok, the assessments are planned and the performance tasks are defined, now for standardizing how to grade the tasks. AllofE has developed an amazingly flexible and easy to use rubric management module that allows districts and teachers to manage any number of rubrics. These rubrics can then be shared across the district and aligned to a number of items that we will cover in the following sections.

7.  Curriculum Based Measurement

You have your rubrics and you have your performance task. What now? Well, we have to align them and aligning / connecting / integrating is what we do best. So you can align each criteria in a rubric to one or more curriculum standards. Teachers can align rubric criteria to their own set of custom standards. Rubrics then get aligned to one or more questions or tasks, and can even be aligned at the curriculum management level.

8.  Weighting

While weighting may seem like a small detail, it is a very important piece because what if you don’t want all criteria to be evaluated equally? What if a teacher wants the actual content of the essay to be more important than spelling or thinks that creatively and effectively communicating a concept should be more important than following grammar rules. To address this, the Rubric Management interface allows for not only weighting but also points to be defined at each criteria level.

9.  Scoring and Grading

The final piece – grading and scoring the performance based task. On a performance task and student basis, the teacher simply uses the measurement descriptions from the rubric to select a ranking for each criteria. Once the teacher has selected the scores, the system automatically calculates a total score for the task. And the grading is done!

Curriculum and Assessments - Bringing it all Together:

Let’s go beyond rubrics and look at the whole big picture and the enormous possibilities this opens up related to measuring performance. Now sometimes a district will have a curriculum management system that allows teachers to upload rubrics as attachments and sometimes a district will have an assessment management system that does the same thing. But what if it were all integrated into one? What if curriculum were tied to all of your district’s standards and that curriculum was then mapped to assessments and then those assessments were mapped to rubrics and you could use all of this to answer key questions such as:

  • How are students performing in relation to Standards X,Y, and Z?
  • Can students actually do / perform at the level required by the state?
  • Which students are falling behind?
  • Which standards are not being addressed?
  • Are students mastering the curriculum that is being taught?
  • And the list goes on and on…


Interested in learning how your district can better manage curriculum? Visit


Interested in learning more about an assessment management solution? Visit

Ad Hoc Reporting

Simply put, once you align everything, you can extract pretty much anything.

Performance Dashboards

Interested in the slicing and dicing of student performance data? From graphs to data drill downs, dashboards give you a holistic view of your district, schools, teachers, students, and more.

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