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Performance Tasks for English Language Arts

Performance Tasks

Measure complex assessment targets

Demonstrate ability to think and reason

Higher-order skills

Produce fully developed writing or speeches

Provide evidence of college and career readiness

Performance Tasks Benefits

Multiple approaches

Use real world contexts

Common language around learning

Limitations of Performance Tasks

Administration time

Human scoring

General Guidelines for Developing Performance Tasks

Integrate knowledge and skills

Measure understanding, research skills, analysis, and the ability to provide relevant evidence
Require student to plan, write, revise, and edit

Reflect a real-world task

Demonstrate knowledge and skills Allow for multiple points of view Feasible for classroom environment

Combinations of Claims and Targets Measured

Writing-narrative, research, possibly reading

Writing-informational/explanatory, research, possibly reading

Writing-argumentative, research, possibly reading Writing-opinions, research, possibly reading Speaking, research, reading, listening

General Specifications for Performance Tasks

Allowable teacher and peer interactions and group work Organization of complex task directions

Simulated Internet access


Design of Performance Tasks

Stimulate cognition

Process information
Produce extended response

Design of Performance Tasks

Use 1-2 Stimuli for Grade 3. Use up to 5 stimuli for high school. Emphasis on stimuli related to science, history, and social studies.

Components of a Performance Task

Stimulus Readings Video clips Audio clips Graphs, charts, other visuals Information Processing Research questions Comprehension questions Simulated Internet search Product/Performance Essay, report, story, script Speech with/without graphics, other media Responses to embedded constructed response questions. etc.

Research topic/issue/ problem



Parts of Performance Task

Part 1: Student reads research sources and responds to prompts (Claim 1 or 4) Part 2: Student plans, writes, and revises his or her full essay (Claim 2) or plans and delivers a speech (Claim 3)

Test Administration

Maximum Time Requirements for Performance Tasks Grade 38:

105 minutes total
Part 1: 35 min. Part 2: 70 min.

High School:
120 minutes total
Part 1: 35-45 min. Part 2: 75-85 min.

Sample Performance Task


Part 1

Part 2

Scoring Information

How your essay will be scored:

The people scoring your essay will be assigning scores for:
Statement of purpose/focushow well you clearly state your claim on the topic, maintain your focus, and address the alternate and opposing claims Organizationhow well your ideas logically flow from the introduction to conclusion using effective transitions, and how well you stay on topic throughout the essay Elaboration of evidencehow well you provide evidence from sources about your opinions and elaborate with specific information Language and Vocabularyhow well you effectively express ideas using precise language that is appropriate for your audience and purpose Conventionshow well you follow the rules of usage, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling

Grade 6 Sample Performance Task

Scoring Criteria

Scoring rubrics

Sample response and scoring notes

Scoring Criteria

Guidelines for Writing Performance Tasks

Align parts of the task

Parts build to full write or speech

Develop rubric for each assessment target Develop exemplars for each rubric Allow multiple approaches