How to Evaluate a School Project


In evaluating student projects, rubrics and portfolios are effective tools, as well as student peer and self evaluations. A rubric provides students with a tangible framework so they know what is required and gives the teacher a straightforward method of evaluation. Portfolios are a collection of student work that lend themselves to content areas where a teacher looks for progress over time. Portfolios may be a physical folder or a digital e-portfolio. Take student feedback into account and encourage students to complete self and peer evaluations. A combination of project evaluation methods can be used successfully in all grade levels.

Things You'll Need

  • Project rubric
  • Portfolio rubric
  • Student evaluations
  • Final assessment

Project Rubric

  • State the project objective. Describe the purpose of the project, such as the school science fair.

  • Explain required content. Be specific. For example, a history project may require that the student includes three reasons why the English colonized Jamestown. A science fair project must include all five steps of the scientific method.

  • Include state standards for the subject area.

  • Review the rubric with the class.

Portfolio Rubric

  • Decide whether a portfolio is suitable for the subject area and long-term class goals.

  • Determine whether the portfolio will be a physical folder or a digital e-portfolio.

  • Create portfolio rubric. Include objectives of the long-term portfolio.

  • Review portfolio expectations with the class.

Presentation Format

  • Decide on the format of the final presentation for either the single project or portfolio. It could be a PowerPoint presentation, visual poster, skit or speech.

  • Demonstrate the presentation format for the final project. Show a sample project from a previous class or create an example for the class.

  • Encourage creativity and student individuality in a final presentation. For speeches or skits, students can record their presentations as part of a digital portfolio.

Student Evaluations

  • Create forms for self evaluations and team peer evaluations. Students will fill these out individually.

  • Ask how student responsibilities were allocated and how each team member contributed if they were part of a group project.

  • Ask students for both individual and group projects what areas they found most challenging and to give themselves a grade.

Final Assessment

  • Use the project or portfolio rubric as a check list.

  • Use peer and self evaluations as part of the final grade.

  • Assign points to each section to determine a final grade.

Tips & Warnings

  • Send a copy of the project rubric or portfolio plan home to parents. Require a parent signature.
  • Offer a series of deadlines to help students stay on track, such as separate due dates for research notes, rough drafts or rehearsals, and final presentations.
  • Contact the library media specialist to arrange library research times or a special lesson in bibliography formats and citations.

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