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USAF Performance Assessment Rubric

There are vital learning outcomes in the professions which are taught and reinforced through academic course work in conjunction with well-planned student development programming and supervised training experiences. This is true for management, health care, law, social work, education, military leadership, and many other fields of study offered at today's colleges and universities.

At the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, for example, the capacity to respond to ill-defined problems of many different kinds is an outcome that is expected of all cadets. There are manifestations of those capacities in the military leadership training that cadets receive, as well as in their athletic competitions and academic work. To evaluate progress in the dealing with ill-defined problems, the faculty and staff of the USAF Academy developed a three level rubric. They first experimented with a five level rubric, but found that the differentiation at the intermediate levels were unhelpful, given that they were really only interested in differentiating satisfactory from deficient performance and in recognizing excellence at those times when it is manifested.

This three point rubric rates the process as “EXCELLENT: well defined problem, SATISFACTORY: adequately defined problem’ and ‘DEFICIENT: wrong problem.’ This rubric was developed in conjunction with our Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric (HCTSR) to capture the aspect of problem framing, but the USAF rubric goes beyond that to capture an ongoing effort to solve a problem. The difference between the Excellent and Satisfactory rating speaks to the demonstration of all the critical thinking skills rated in the HCTSR to move the problems solving process further.

See below for a PDF version of the USAF Performance Rubric.

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