How to Assess

Once you have data you need to be able to make sense of it. Being ‘evaluative’ means assessing performance, value, effectiveness and quality.

It is the process you use to make judgements, to be able to come to conclusions about how ‘good’ something is.

One way to do this is to develop a simple rubric. Evaluative rubrics are a way to define quality and value by:

  • Identifying what aspects are important to assess.
  • Identifying criteria to make an assessment.
  • Using these criteria to make a judgement about how good, excellent (or poor) each aspect is.

Rubrics have been used for some time in the education field and in that context are generally thought of as a scoring guide to evaluate the quality of a student’s work.

In this picture below from the Kinnect Group (provided by Kate McKegg), rubrics clarify how you will make sense of your data to make judgements about worth and value.

Rubrics are a way to make assessments against clear criteria.
Using the categories in the ‘sense making’ column above, here is an example of a rubric, taken from a 2013 presentation on rubrics for non-profits by Kate McKegg.

Level of performanceDescription
ExcellentPerformance is clearly very strong or exemplary. Any gaps or weaknesses are not significant and are managed effectively.
Very goodPerformance is generally strong. No significant gaps or weaknesses, and less significant gaps or weaknesses are mostly managed effectively.
GoodPerformance is reasonable. A few gaps or weaknesses, but none that are considered serious.
AdequatePerformance is inconsistent. Some gaps or weaknesses. Meets minimum requirements/expectations.
PoorPerformance is unacceptably weak. Does not meet minimum requirements/expectations.
Insufficient evidenceEvidence is unavailable or of insufficient quality to judge performance.

In essence, a rubric can show the basis upon which you will make assessments or judgements of value, impact and worth.


Rubrics for Non-Profits

Article on Evaluative Rubrics by Kinnect Group

This is an accessible article about rubrics written by New Zealand evaluators for the Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation, 2013

NZQA CORE Approach

Group analysis of data


Planning Guides and Templates