Embedding Habits, Skills, and Disposition in PAs

Educator develops performance assessments that embed and assess one or more Habits, Skills, and/or Dispositions.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

The educator incorporates habits, skills, and dispositions into performance assessments by either 1) adapting an existing assessment or 2) designing a new assessment from scratch.

Method Components

The Advanced Performance Assessment for Learning Design stack is designed so that, if all three credentials are taken together, they will become more than the sum of their parts. Each micro-credential is intended to be able to stand on its own; however, the ideas and activities of each of these credentials support and expand on the others, allowing a fuller appreciation of performance assessment and its implications. Even more value will be gained by engaging in all three Performance Assessment for Learning stacks together.

Habits, Skills, and Dispositions:

Habits, Skills, and Dispositions are those qualities that—in addition to academic knowledge—are necessary for success in college, career, and civic life. Examples include collaboration, creativity, communication, and self-direction, among others. Increasingly, these habits, skills, and dispositions are seen as essential for the success of students in college, career, and civic life (for more, see the infographic in the resources). They are referred to in the field by a number of names, including essential skills and dispositions, work-study habits, non-cognitive skills, etc.

Performance assessments that measure habits, skills, and dispositions provide students with feedback on how well developed these essential skills are and how they might improve performance.

Your Task:

You will create a performance assessment (or adapt an existing one) that assesses at least one habit, skill, or disposition.

Steps of embedding habits, skills, and dispositions into performance assessments include the following:

  • View the recorded webinar “Assessing Habits, Skills, and Dispositions: A Method”
    • Choose what you will be assessing:
    • Does your school or district require a specific set of habits, skills, and dispositions (for example, 21st Century Skills or Essential Skills and Dispositions)? If so, choose at least one habit, skill, or disposition from the required set. If no particular set is required, choose one of the habits, skills, and dispositions from the four discussed in the webinar.
    • Review your curriculum to determine where this assessment would best fit. Once you identify the curriculum unit, determine whether an assessment already exists that can be adapted to include habits, skills, and dispositions or whether you need to design a new assessment.
    • Consult supporting research regarding the grade level expectation of the chosen habits, skills, and dispositions (see supporting research below).

  • Adapt an existing assessment OR design a new assessment from scratch that includes the measure of habits, skills, and dispositions.
    • Consult the supporting materials provided in resources, particularly the Five Steps to Assessing series referenced in the webinar.
    • Using our Graphic Organizer (see resources), determine and chart the evidence that you will need to see to say that the student has proficiently demonstrated the habit, skill, or disposition.
    • Create or adapt a rubric that describes what performance of the habit, skill, or disposition will look like at the appropriate performance levels. To be clear, this means that each habit, skill, or disposition will have its own row in the rubric.
    • Create your Performance Assessment, which will consist of 1) a teacher or lesson plan that includes how the habit, skill, or disposition will be introduced, explained, and assessed, 2) student directions, and 3) the rubric.

  • Engage in a team-based task validation protocol (see resources) to assess the effectiveness of the habit-embedded task and revise the task based on recommendations evolving out of the protocol.

  • Administer the assessment to at least one class of students and score student work.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Duckworth, A. L., & Yeager, D. S. (2015). Measurement matters assessing personal qualities other than cognitive ability for educational purposes. Educational Researcher, 44(4), 237-251.

  • Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087.
    http://rrhs.schoolwires.net/cms/lib7/WI01001304/Centricity/Domain/187/Grit JPSP.pdf

  • Yeager, D. S., & Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindsets that promote resilience: When students believe that personal characteristics can be developed. Educational Psychologist, 47(4), 302-314.

  • Pellegrino, J. W., & Hilton, M. L. (Eds.). (2013). Education for life and work: Developing transferable knowledge and skills in the 21st century. National Academies Press.


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 and a “Got it” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(200-word limit for each response)

  • Describe the context within which you are embedding the performance assessment and the habit, skill, or disposition. Describe the class and your students. Describe the portion of the curriculum into which this PA should fit. What scaffolding will students complete to prepare them to successfully complete the PA? Why do you think it’s a good fit?

  • Demonstrate, by pointing to evidence in the performance assessment or rubric, that the PA is tightly aligned to the habit, skill, or disposition being assessed, both in terms of content and in terms of the level of cognitive rigor required.

  • Describe the instructional scaffolding and formative strategies you used to support students in demonstrating habits, skills, and dispositions in this performance assessment. Explain why you chose those strategies.

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

To earn the micro-credential for Embedding Habits, Skills, and Dispositions in PAs, the educator must submit the following:

  • One adapted or new performance assessment (at least a teacher guide, student directions, and rubric) that incorporates habits, skills, and dispositions.

  • Three student work samples, each with a scored rubric or scoring guide from the assessment. The artifacts may include video, photographic, textual, or any other appropriate medium for demonstrating competence.

Part 3. Reflection

Write a reflective essay (1,000-word limit) OR record a fiveto ten-minute video or audio addressing the following topics (be sure to use specificsthat illustrate why you come to the conclusions you do):

  • Were you successful in providing opportunities for students? Why or why not? What improvements or revisions could be included?

  • How did you provide instruction and formative feedback on these habits, skills, and dispositions to students along the way?

  • If you were to embed habits, skills, and/or dispositions in another performance, what would you do differently from this time?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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