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Tool: Choosing performance criteria

What makes student work "good"? This tool provides means to think through different criteria for the quality of students' work in order to construct valid assessments. On the right, you can record possible criteria for work in the unit or lesson for which you are constructing assessments:

Unit or lesson:

Criterion type


Possible criteria for your unit or lesson

Impact of performance

The success of performance, given the purposes, goals and desired results              

Work quality and craftsmanship

The overall polish, organization and rigor of the work

Adequacy of methods and behaviors

The quality of the procedures and manner of presentation, prior to and during performance

Validity of content

The correctness of the ideas, skills or materials used

Degree of expertise

The relative sophistication, complexity or maturity of the knowledge employed

Adapted from Wiggins, G. (1998).  Educative assessment: Designing assessments to inform and improve student performance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

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