Examples of Performance Rating Scales

UW-Green Bay Examples (Source: Spring & Fall 1999 Pilot Tests)

  1. Major Paper for 493-101, Foundations of Western Culture I (Greg Aldrete)
  2. Writing Assignment for 362-190, Emergence of Western Technology (Steve Dutch)
  3. Reading Exam for 448-209, U.S. Immigration History (Andrew Kersten)
  4. Homework Essay for 736-102, Problems in Ethics (Andrew Fiala)
  5. Bibliographic Search Assignment for 778-100, World Politics (Mark Everingham)
  6. Major Paper for 351-104, Introduction to Literature (Aeron Haynie)
  7. Short Answer Portion of Comprehensive Exam for 351-214, Intro to English Literature I (Catherine Henze)
  8. Final Paper for 424/493-356, German Culture (David Coury)
  9. Writing Assignment for 362-188, Issues in Biological Conservation (Robert Howe)
  10. Social Patterns Exercise for 875-250, Introduction to Global Studies (Larry Smith)
  11. Final Exam Essay Question for 242-261, Aesthetic Awareness: Foundations (Arthur Cohrs)

Examples from other colleges and universities

  1. General Performance Rating Scale (Focus: Thoroughness, Clarity, Accuracy, And Logic)

  2. Foreign Language: Elementary French Student Presentation

  3. Mathematics: Statistics (Focus: Demonstrating Appropriate Data Analysis)

  4. Science Experiment

  5. Writing Assignment

UW-GREEN BAY EXAMPLES
(Source: Spring & Fall 1999 Pilot Tests)

MAJOR PAPER FOR 493-101, FOUNDATIONS OF WESTERN CULTURE I (Greg Aldrete)

All the reading for the course consists of primary sources – there is no textbook.  One important part of this course is having students work with these primary sources and learn how to evaluate such sources, how they can be used, and what questions can be asked and answered by using them.  This involves developing critical reading and thinking skills and developing an appreciation for cultural differences.  The goal of the paper assignment is to see how effectively students have mastered these skills by having them write a “fake” primary source based on one or more of the ones they have read, coupled with factual information from lectures.

  1. Excellent.  The essay fulfills all the major requirements of the assignment in an exceptional fashion, and displays original and creative thought.  All required topics are addressed and are dealt with in a complete manner.  Points are discussed fully, arguments or statements are backed up with specific factual information, counterarguments are addressed and refuted using evidence.  There are minimal or no grammar problems.  The essay is successful in the attempt to represent a different cultural perspective.  The author transcends the basic requirements of the assignment and makes original, insightful, and creative observations.

  2. Good.  The essay fulfills all the major requirements of the assignment in a satisfactory fashion.  All required elements are present.  All required topics are at least addressed and the majority of them are dealt with in a complete manner.  Points are discussed fully, arguments or statements are backed up with specific factual information, counterarguments are addressed and refuted using evidence.  There are minimal grammar problems.  The essay is at least somewhat successful in the attempt to represent a different cultural perspective.

  3. Mediocre.  The essay fulfills most of the major requirements of the assignment, but there are significant problems.  Most required topics are at least addressed and the majority of them are dealt with in some manner.  At least some major points are discussed fully, in most cases arguments or statements are backed up with specific factual information, at least some counterarguments are addressed and refuted using evidence.  There may be significant grammar problems, but not to the point of impairing meaning.  The essay attempts to represent a different cultural perspective.

  4. Unsatisfactory.  The essay fundamentally fails to fulfill the assignment in some way.  Such failures might include: major issues are not addressed, major parts of the assignment are left off, minimal or no specific factual details are used to support claims, arguments are weakly developed, grammar and/or organization is so bad that it is difficult to determine the author’s meaning.

WRITING ASSIGNMENT FOR 362-190, EMERGENCE OF WESTERN TECHNOLOGY (Steve Dutch)

What is it about sailing ships, cathedrals, and suspension bridges that causes them to be considered beautiful, while neon signs and strip mines are considered ugly? What other kinds of technology are widely considered beautiful or ugly? Why? How do these perceptions change with time and cultural setting? Length 4-6 pages. Cite at least one scholarly journal and one scholarly book.

Traits to be Assessed:  Adherence to Assigned Topic, Depth of Analysis, Logical Support of Arguments, Use of Proper Resources, Writing Mechanics

  1. Paper follows assigned topic.  Subjects analyzed in depth and detail.  Arguments follow logically from evidence and previous arguments.  Resources are adequate and properly referenced.  No mechanical errors. Fluent use of language.

  2. Paper follows assigned topic.  Subjects analyzed well but could show better depth and detail.  Arguments follow logically from evidence and previous arguments but may be a bit superficial in places.  Resources are adequate and properly referenced.  Only minor mechanical errors. Generally fluent use of language.

  3. Paper generally follows assigned topic but drifts occasionally.  Subjects often superficially analyzed.  Arguments often superficial, or topics often not presented in logical sequence.  Some proper resources were used but others are inappropriate or improperly referenced.  Frequent mechanical errors. Linguistic fluency adequate but not excellent.

  4.   Paper barely follows assigned topic and often drifts.  Subjects superficially analyzed, "stream of consciousness" writing.  Arguments superficial, topics not presented in logical sequence.  Most resources inappropriate or improperly referenced, number may be insufficient. Failure to cite references for important points.  Frequent mechanical errors, possible problems with linguistic fluency. Obvious failure to spell-check, proofread or do multiple drafts.

  5. Paper fails to follow assigned topic.  Subjects superficially analyzed, "stream of consciousness" writing.  Arguments superficial, topics not presented in logical sequence.  Resources inappropriate, improperly referenced, or lacking.  Frequent and severe mechanical errors, problems with linguistic fluency. Obvious failure to spell-check, proofread or do multiple drafts.

READING EXAM FOR 448-209, U.S. IMMIGRATION HISTORY (Andrew Kersten)

This exam is designed to test how well students understand the book The Disuniting of America by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.  Additionally, it is designed to let students develop their critical reading and writing skills.  

"Based on your reading of the book, answer one of the following questions.  Use essay form (thesis, paragraphs, etc).  Use specific detail from the book (include page numbers with quotes). Your essay should be well-organized, rich in specific detail, and balanced.

¨     What is Schlesinger's thesis?  Do you agree with it or not?  State your answer clearly and give plenty of evidence for both Schlesinger's thesis and your opinion.

¨     Write a critical review of Schlesinger's book.  What are the book's strong points?  What are its weak points?  Are you convinced by the thesis?”

  1. Original, lucid, persuasive thesis with specific evidence drawn from the book. Reasonable and balanced criticism of the book.

  2. Clear thesis.  Good use of evidence.  Adequate criticism.

  3. Unclear thesis.  Needs more evidence and more original criticism of the book.

  4. No thesis present.  Little to no evidence supplied.  Unreasonable criticism of the book.

HOMEWORK ESSAY FOR 736-102, PROBLEMS IN ETHICS (Andrew Fiala)

Students read selections from Immanuel Kant’s Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. They were then asked to respond to the following question:  “Describe an imaginary moral dilemma.  Formulate a maxim for each alternative course of action and subject it to the test of universality.  Which course of action do you think Kant would support?”

  1. An excellent essay must include all five of the following:

    a.    Describe a dilemma.  The goal here is to understand what a moral dilemma is.
    b.    Formulate maxims for each side of the dilemma.  The goal here is to be able to formulate a maxim.
    c.    Test the maxims using the categorical imperative.  The goal here is to be able to apply the categorical imperative.
    d.    Offer an interpretation of Kant and the way that he would have responded.  The goal here is to demonstrate some understanding of Kant.
    e.    Offer insight, critique, and creativity.  The goal here is to demonstrate some thought about the Kantian approach to moral philosophy

    2.  A good essay must include four of the above criteria.
    3.  An acceptable essay must include three of the above criteria.
    4.  A poor essay includes two or fewer of the above criteria.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SEARCH ASSIGNMENT FOR 778-100, WORLD POLITICS (Mark Everingham)

Students can choose to complete a bibliographic search assignment on a major theme or global issue related to a section of the course. Examples of viable topics and suggested readings are listed in the syllabus, and appear at the end of each chapter and on the web site for the text. The search can focus on one or more of the following geographic regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, China and the Asian Pacific Rim, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, or Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics.  The assignment entails the identification of a variety of reliable and authoritative sources through the use of electronic indexes and search engines available in the library and on the Internet. Students then write a summary of the results that includes complete bibliographic information and a brief discussion of how the materials, such as, books, journal articles, newspaper articles, and web sites, shed light on the theme or issue at a global, regional, or national level. The assignment should be about five typewritten pages in length.     

  1. The assignment shows effective use of bibliographic search tools and proper format for citation and attribution.  The work clearly demonstrates a thorough effort to identify a variety of scholarly sources and other analytical treatments, in addition to journalistic accounts, of recent violence over ethnic, religious, and tribal differences and related systematic human rights violations. The summary focused appropriately on regions and countries that are in the lurch between war and peace and/or experiencing tumultuous transitions to democracy. The summaries are concise and insightful with complete bibliographic information.

  2. The assignment shows effective use of bibliographic search tools and proper citation and attribution.  But, the search is more limited in scope and the summaries do not capture the full complexity of ethnic, religious, and tribal differences as catalysts for systematic human rights violations.

  3. The assignment shows limited use of search tools and contains multiple errors in citation and attribution.  The summaries refer to ethnic, religious, and tribal differences and human rights violations, but do not reflect an understanding of their significance.

  4. The assignment shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how to generate a viable bibliography, and thus the inability to distinguish scholarly analysis from superficial journalism and propaganda that are often associated with controversial issues about ethnocentrism, racism, and human rights. This problem is especially acute when students rely solely on information found on the World Wide Web.

MAJOR PAPER FOR 351-104, INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE (Aeron Haynie)

The assignment was to construct a focused, convincing argument about a novel, Continental Drift, using specific examples from the text to back up their claims.  Students were asked to address one of six topics, or create their own (approved by the instructor).  Regardless of topic, students were advised to consider language (e.g., metaphor, simile, irony, and synecdoche); how their own “worldview” influences how they read the text; and intertextuality, use of setting, gaps, and closure.

  1. Original and clearly stated thesis; insightful, perhaps even sophisticated reading of the text; use of supporting passages; insightful analysis of quoted passages.

  2. Clearly stated thesis; competent but not compelling analysis of the text; minimal analysis of quoted material.

  3. Lack of a clear thesis; accurate reading of the text; lack of much analysis.

  4. Lack of a clear thesis; inaccurate reading of the text; lack of supporting examples; no analysis of supporting passages from the text.

SHORT ANSWER PORTION OF COMPREHENSIVE EXAM FOR 351-214, INTRO TO ENGLISH LITERATURE I (Catherine Henze)

Questions designed to test basic factual information about the range of texts covered (earliest English texts to 1800).

  1. Outstanding.  The student has a strong grasp of basic facts relating to major texts in early English literature.

  2. Good.  The student has a good, if imperfect, knowledge of the texts covered.

  3. Fair.  The student has a substantially flawed grasp of basic facts pertaining to the material covered.

  4. Poor.  The student has an extremely limited grasp of basic facts pertaining to the material covered.

FINAL PAPER FOR 424/493-356, GERMAN CULTURE (David Coury)

Students selected a cultural topic dealing with Germany at any historical period, and explored the cultural ramifications of their topic and what effect it had on German society or culture.

  1. Well-structured.  Introduction: Clearly outlines which topic will be explored, how it is related to German culture and why it is of importance.  Development: Logically organized presentation of topic, strong analysis, with examples and/or references to and discussion of incidents and ideas.  Includes both counterarguments and/or examples and discusses strengths and weaknesses of both.  Conclusion: Sums up satisfactorily thesis, analysis, and presents conclusion.  In general: Shows excellent insight into topic; clear and easily understood; interesting to read.  Few if any mechanical errors.

  2. Thinner.  Structure good, but development weaker than in a well-structured paper.  Insight not as strong.  Linking ideas, incidents, examples missing or unclear.  Counterarguments and/or examples not clearly stated.  Mechanical errors greater.

  3. Paper simply lists, narrates or describes historical data without any discussion or analysis.  No attempt at framing the argument or thesis.  Includes factual errors.  Many mechanical errors.

  4. Serious factual and/or mechanical errors making paper or argument incomprehensible.  Ignores assignment, fails to show relevance of topic, its importance or the cultural nature or thesis.

  5. Failure to turn in paper; plagiarism, including non-referenced quotes or failure to quote non-original material.

WRITING ASSIGNMENT FOR 362-188, ISSUES IN BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION (Robert Howe)

  1. Outstanding.  The essay demonstrates a fundamental understanding of the scientific and social dimensions of the issue.  Personal opinions are supported by clear and accurate facts, concepts, or examples.  The essay is focused, well organized, and effectively written.

  2. The essay demonstrates some understanding of the important scientific and social dimensions of the issue.  Opinions are supported by relevant information and the essay is generally clear and well written.

  3. The essay ignores or misinterprets some of the important scientific and social dimensions of the issue.  Information presented is incomplete or only partly accurate.  The essay is fairly well written but lacks strong focus and organization.

  4. Weak.  The essay fails to address key scientific and social elements of the issue and applies little or no accurate information in support of the opinions presented.  The essay is poorly written and lacks focus and organization.

SOCIAL PATTERNS EXERCISE FOR 875-250, INTRODUCTION TO GLOBAL STUDIES (Larry Smith)

  1. Outstanding or Excellent.  Accurate and relatively complete discussion of at least three topics like those listed with strong and accurate attention to interactions among the topics and with global natural cycles and patterns in the past, today and in prospect.

  2. Very Good.  Accurate and largely complete discussion of at least three individual topics with limited or less than fully accurate attention to interactions among them and with natural cycles and patterns in the past, today and in prospect.

  3. Acceptable.  Generally correct discussion of a minimum of two individual topics with very limited reference to either (1) interactions among the topics or with natural cycles or (2) to past, present, or prospective distributions of the topics discussed.

  4. Unacceptable.  Generally inaccurate or incomplete discussion of individual topics and no, limited, or inaccurate references either to interactions among them or with natural cycles or to the past, present or future or both.

FINAL EXAM ESSAY QUESTION FOR 242-261, AESTHETIC AWARENESS: FOUNDATIONS (Arthur Cohrs)

Rating scales produced for each of three criteria: selection of artistic quality, selection of example, and overall statement.  Final rating = average of three scales.

Selection of artistic quality

  1. In each medium finds more than one artistic quality which relates to the theme and briefly but clearly describes it.

  2. In each medium finds one artistic quality clearly seen in the example and defines or discusses it.

  3. In each example cites the quality but not clearly defined or discussed.

  4. In each example states the quality is present or assumes it is seen.

Selection of example

  1. All examples chosen are seen as appropriate and clear to the viewer.

  2. Examples are uneven in their presentation of the theme: one or two of them are less clearly seen, but at least one or two are considered good examples.

  3. Examples are uneven, only one is knowledgeably presented by the student.

  4. Examples chosen have limited potential for expression of the theme in artistic terms, and better examples could be chosen.

Overall statement

  1. A conclusion or preface suggests that each medium has some potential for expressing the theme, and compares the media or examples intelligently.

  2. A comparison is briefly made or suggested among the media or examples.

  3. One medium or example is stated or suggested as most successfully presenting the theme, without other comparison.

  4. No conclusion is drawn comparing the media, examples or their potential for expression.

Examples from other colleges and universities

GENERAL PERFORMANCE RATING SCALE (Focus: thoroughness, clarity, accuracy, and logic)

  1. Exceeds standard.  Response may contain some minor flaws but clearly exceeds the standard. All requirements are met.  Explanation contains details and all significant facts. Opposing views or alternate hypotheses are given and substantially argued. All information is concise, relevant and presented in an organized fashion. Any grammatical errors present do not distract from presentation. All observations and facts are accurate and precise. Inferences given are supported by facts or data. Analogies are appropriate and supported.  Synthesis of ideas is apparent.

  2. Meets standard.  Response contains several minor flaws, but meets the standard. Most requirements are met. Explanation may lack some significant details or facts. Opposing views or alternate hypotheses are given, but some major arguments may be missing. Information is generally concise, relevant but may be somewhat difficult to follow. Too many grammatical errors may distract from presentation. Most observations and factual information are accurate and precise. Inferences given, but may not be supported by facts or data.  Analogies are appropriate, but may not be supported. Some synthesis of ideas.

  3. Falls just short of standard.  Response contains a serious flaw.  Some requirements are met. Explanation may lack numerous details or is missing most significant facts. Opposing views or alternate hypotheses are given, but few if any arguments are given. Some information is relevant. Rambling or difficult organization may be present. Too many grammatical errors distract significantly from presentation. Some observations and facts are accurate and precise. Inferences given, but facts or data contradict them. Analogies not appropriate. Synthesis attempted, but unsuccessful.

  4. Misses standard.  Response is attempted, but seriously flawed and misses the standard. Few requirements may be met. Explanation is missing both details and all significant facts. Opposing views or alternate hypotheses are not present. Little if any information is relevant. Rambling style or total disorganization may be present.  Grammatical errors may make the presentation almost impossible to follow. Few if any observations and facts are accurate and precise. Inferences are not given. Analogies are not attempted.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: ELEMENTARY FRENCH STUDENT PRESENTATION

  1. Student speaks in the target language at all times. Student makes few or no mistakes in the target language. Student does not use notes during the presentation. Student uses excellent pronunciation. Student uses some originality or imagination in the presentation.

  2. Student speaks most of the time in the target language. Student makes some mistakes in vocabulary and/or sentence structure. Student may occasionally refer to notes. Student needs some work on pronunciation.

  3. Student does not stick to the target language. Student needs notes. Student makes mistakes in pronunciation, vocabulary, and/or sentence structure.

  4. Student does not use target language correctly or needs extensive work in one or more of the following areas; pronunciation, sentence structure, and use of vocabulary. Student reads from notes.

MATHEMATICS: STATISTICS (Focus: demonstrating appropriate data analysis)

  1. Uses appropriate statistical test with correct results. Provides an interval estimation of the values of the parameter. Includes a hypothesis test and gives accompanying p-level stating probability of type 1 error.

  2.   Provides most of top level but one of the traits is missing or unclear.

  3. Uses correct statistical test but estimation or interpretation is omitted; there may be calculation or other minor errors.

  4. Incorrect statistical test; data is erroneous or missing.

SCIENCE EXPERIMENT

  1. Contains appropriate, quantifiable, concisely organized information that allows the experiment to be replicated. All information in the report can be related back to this section. Identifies sources of data. Sequences information appropriately. No wordiness.

  2. Experiment could be replicated from the information given. All information in the report can be related back to this section. However, fails to identify some data sources and/or has problematic sequencing.

  3. Marginally replicable. Parts of basic design must be inferred. Procedures not quantitatively described. Some information in results or conclusions sections cannot be anticipated by reading this section.

  4. Describes experiment so poorly it cannot be replicated.

WRITING ASSIGNMENT

  1. Well structured.  Introduction: Thesis statement with title, author, and your main idea about the subject of your paper.  Development: Logically organized presentation of proof for thesis; references to incidents (using the plot selectively), quotes, discussion of your ideas, etc.  Conclusion: Sums up satisfactorily, repeats, and restates the ideas of the introduction.  Fulfills the assignment.  Shows excellent insight into the literature.  Clear, easily understood, interesting to read.  Few, if any, mechanical errors.  Makes an excellent appearance; typed, double-spaced.

  2. Thinner.  Structure good, but development is weaker than in well structured paper (fewer examples, quotes, etc.)  Insight into literature is not as keen.  Mechanical errors more serious.  Makes a good appearance; typed, double-spaced.

  3. Has a thesis statement and recognizable structure, but development may be slight.  Deals with theme but may be heavy on plot.  Follows assignment, at least partially.  Shows only surface understanding of the literature or even some confusion about it.  Has several mechanical errors, especially spelling.  Appearance is fair.

  4. Structure weak, perhaps lacking thesis.  Deals with plot almost entirely.  Minimal effort, little or no attempt to follow the assignment.  Shows little understanding of the literature.  Hard to understand.  Many mechanical errors.  Careless in appearance.