United States Air Force Performance Assessment Rubric

This rubric was developed by the United States Air Force Academy Educational Outcomes Assessment Working Group. November 1995. Contact: USAFA Colorado Springs, CO



  1. identifies most important ill-defined aspects of problem as well as general “’ill-defined” problem nature
  2. keenly aware of personal perspective and biases and compensates effectively
  3. also aware of relationship between present problem and context in which it is situated
  4. uses goal, mission, or other ultimates to structure problem space effectively
  5. systematically works through problem; often makes multiple passes through the problem space as conditions change in order to assesses consequences of changes or alternatives
  6. unsuccessful attempts regularly used to better understand problem and solution process
  7. generates rich variety of alternatives; tests them objectively and selects rationally
  8. use general principles and fundamental concepts to frame overall problem space and as solution tools provides reasonable and substantive justification for assumptions and choices
  9. appropriate level of confidence and commitment to eventual solution


  1. aware of general “ill-defined” nature of the problem and some of the specific problem deficiencies
  2. somewhat aware of personal perspective but not fully able to compensate for its effects
  3. evidence of awareness of problem context found throughout solution process but some important connections and implications not recognized
  4. may structure problem space based a superficial problem characteristics or unwarranted assumptions
  5. works through problem systematically but may omit necessary reconsideration of assumptions
  6. unsuccessful attempts recognized and abandoned
  7. generates multiple potential solutions but may not consider them all or use appropriate selection criteria
  8. tendency to use particular tools and mechanisms appropriately but may lack ability to justify the approach taken or adjust tools to fit the problem presented
  9. likely to lack confidence in solution; limited commitment without encouragement or support


  1. unaware of either general or specific characteristics that preclude routine solution procedures
  2. apparently unaware of personal perspectives, biases or assumptions and their effects
  3. apparently unaware of broader context In which problem occurs; assumes singular perspective
  4. unable or unwilling to structure on the problem space within parameters provided
  5. unsuccessful, sporadic, apparently random, attempts at problem lead to frustration and abandonment
  6. unsuccessful attempts based on untenable assumptions not recognized
  7. fully commits to first apparent solution path and follows it through to completion without reconsideration
  8. random or inappropriate application of tools; may not be able to provide reasons for approach selected
  9. likely to display either no confidence in solution or process (may claim problem is impossible) or be
  10. inappropriately confident and overly committed to obviously ineffective solution