Assessment… test… exam. These can be difficult words if you work in a grade level or subject area where traditional tests aren’t really your thing. How do you find out what your students really know if they aren’t taking a paper/pencil assessment?  Well, if you’re anything like me, you watch, listen, and take notes. You may utilize checklists and rubrics to determine students’ understanding and application of needed skills to perform, especially when tasks don’t have a clear right or wrong answer. I have a suggestion for you to still keep those performance based tasks and collect the data you need to adjust instructional strategies, organize student groups, and plan lesson focus based on student needs. Picture me, without Mastery Manager, with rubrics and checklists in various folders and binders. After working with students to update progress I would shuffle through various sheets to reorganize my student groups and plan future lessons. While it was doable, it was time-consuming and an organizational challenge to keep everything straight! Read on for tips on using Mastery Manager rubrics and checklists with your students.

Rubrics and checklists (called bubble descriptors) in Mastery Manager can be customized to meet your needs with scoring on the whole or half point totals. With my rubrics, I like to align standards to individual rows. This allows me to be more detailed in my reporting on standard mastery. Once the rubric is made, I just add it to my assessment. In the elementary setting, I use rubrics and checklists for almost EVERYTHING! Letter and sound identification, numbers, reading readiness, phonemic awareness, shapes, writing skills, and the list goes on. What skills do you track via checklists and rubrics? Share what you do below to help other readers.  Comment below and let us know about your subject area and grade level.

Scoring performance based tasks is so simple. While I have the flexibility to print forms to score my students, utilizing the online input while students are performing tasks makes for easy grading. Click the pencil and it opens up a box for individual feedback.

Then, once the students have been scored, I can use the response distribution report to track student progress, create student groups, and differentiate my instruction based on student need. This report breaks down student scores for individual rows of the rubrics and skills on the checklist, making it easy to see which students need additional support and re-teaching. If you use the same rubric on multiple reports, run a trend or longitudinal comparison report and track progress over time.

So, if you’re like me and you don’t use traditional tests on a regular basis in your classroom, don’t be leery of an assessment solution. Remember that rubrics and checklists can be utilized in Mastery Manager offering real-time data, giving you evidence to back up your instructional decisions.

Do you have a unique way you utilize Mastery Manager in your classroom? We’d love to hear your story. Comment below or send an email to and you could be featured in an upcoming blog post.

One thought on “Beyond Multiple Choice: A Look into Performance Based Assessments

  1. Wow, I love how this program can help students achieve learning outcomes. It’s great that we have these backup software to help us find where students are struggling. It’s like analytics for the classroom! Keep up the great work.

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