Integrated Performance Assessments

Posted by Kara Parker on November 23, 2013 in 4 Assessments, Last Days


In the beginning, I gave very grammar-focused tests. As my teaching style changed, I found that my tests didn’t match what we were doing in class.


Then I switched to performance assessments. I realized that they were great, but didn’t always show what they understood.20131123-232409.jpg

Then I started giving reading assessments that had several readings about what we had covered in the unit. I really struggled to grade these.


Finally, I took another leap and tried Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA). All of the skills and modes were previously separated, and now they were building on each other.


Great things are being revealed!


I begin by finding an authentic resource that I can weave through multiple modes and skills.


For an interpretive activity, I like to ask them about the main idea, the purpose, and specific details.


This rubric works best for me right now, but I’m looking for other options.


Interpersonal activities work best when they are using the information from the interpretive part. I try to recreate the situation as much as possible with props.


I use our JCPS performance rubric to measure this.


Then make it a writing assessment!



Another idea: watch a department store commercial, look at a sale flyer, and then they have a text conversation about the sale.


These two sites have some excellent IPAs!


This was all new for me to try this trimester. Now I’m ready to improve.

Here is a place to share rubrics:


31 comments for “Integrated Performance Assessments”

  1. Kara says:

    This is for our conference session and will be available to all later today. Sorry for the confusion!

    1. Great session at ACTFL2013! Attending your presentation was the perfect way to end a wonderful convention in Orlando. It was so nice to meet you in person, too. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas with us.

      1. Kara says:

        Thank you! It was nice to meet you too. See ya next year in San Antonio??

  2. Sarah says:

    Where can I access a printable version on the interpretive rubric?! I give interpretive activities and do other self assessments, but struggle with grading the interpretive assessments! I could really use this!

    1. Kara says:

      I will put it on our wikispaces tomorrow.

  3. Susana Gorski says:

    Good afternoon, I would like to have access to this posting. please let me know how to go about. Thanks, Susana

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Olga Willey says:

    Love this! where is the wiki? thanks a lot for all your great work!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love these ideas! I am super interested in seeing the rubrics as well. The assessments seem so authentic and the students can definitely see how their language learning can be used in the real world. GRACIAS!!

  6. Allison says:

    This is awesome! I can’t wait for the interpretive rubric!

  7. Anne says:

    Wow! This is awesome! Thank you for sharing! Any chance you’ll be in San Antonio for next year’s convention? I was unable to go this year 🙁

    1. Kara says:

      Definitely! I love Acfl!

  8. Thanks so much for posting my IPA examples! I had the great fortune to learn from and present with Toni Theisen about IPAs. I learned that creating an essential question is a vital part of the process of drafting an IPA . The ACTFL IPA guide is a huge help. I hate that I missed your session at ACTFL. Hopefully, I will see you in San Antonio next year! Thanks for all you share on your blog. I learn so much from you all!

    1. Kara says:

      Do you have any links to that info? I would love to learn more!

  9. Britta Hanks says:

    I’ve been playing with the same kind of thing (successfully in some ways, but still struggling in others). I’d love the have access to the wiki. Can you please email it to me. Thank you so much.

  10. Katie says:

    Thanks for posting this. I have just started using IPA’s in my classroom and my students are blowing me away with their skills! I even had one student tell me how much she liked these tests better than the grammar based ones. I am having a hard time with grading rubrics though. Would you be willing to share your Interpretative, Interpersonal and Presentational rubrics with me? Also, I would love to see the links to the 2 places that have great IPA’s.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Kara says:

      I just updated the post with the links at the bottom. Thanks Andrea for sharing yours too!

  11. Here is a link to some IPA resources I have collected

    This is a link to rubrics for all modes and proficiency levels

    I hope this helps!

    1. Kara says:

      Yes! So helpful!

  12. telece marbrey says:

    I’m very interested in seeing more examples/ideas for this approach. Could you share your wikispace address please?
    Mil gracias.

    1. Kara says:

      Sure! I will add more examples as I make them. The site is

  13. Sabrina says:

    Wonderful! Just what I was looking for! Merci & gracias!

  14. srciavaglia says:

    Is there any way we could see the authentic resource that you used for the restaurant critique IPA you talked about in this post? I’m guessing it was a specific Yelp post? When I click the picture, it’s too small to see. Thanks!

    1. Kara says:

      Yes! It’s from Yelp (my fav). I can’t find the exact one now, but this is the search I did (, americana, Madrid):

  15. Laura M. says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! Everything is so cool and useful.
    Most of the IPA examples are for French classes. Do you have o know any IPAs for Spanish class? I will really appreciate whatever you can share. Thanks again!

  16. Sandra Plyler says:

    Hi Kara,

    It looks great…thanks for sharing!! Are you presenting at the next ACTFL in San Diego? Thanks. -Sandra

    1. Kara Parker says:

      Yes I will, a pre-conference workshop. Click on our tab “conferences” to see more details. Hope to meet you there!

  17. Alexandra says:

    Hi! I love this post. It is very helpful. At my school, I have to create a final for the semester. That means assessing two different units (in this case, Familia and Mi Vida Escolar). How could I create an IPA that would include both? Or, should I leave the IPA’s to the individual units and then do a brief (old-fashioned) final that would include questions for both units?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Kara Parker says:

      When it comes to summative, my preference is to create one that includes touches of both units. So what’s a scenario where someone would talk about school and family? Maybe something like – a group of students from another country is coming for a week long visit to your school. First, read the 3 profiles and order them from the one that you have the most to least amount in common. Now “Skype” talk with their teacher and say/explain which student you would like to host. Now tell him/her all about your school and family so they know what to expect. – IPAs take more time to create and implement. If I didn’t have time to do all the parts, I’d say don’t stress! It’s always a good goal to attempt.

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