administration student task rubric student work technical quality
Electric Circuits

Grades 9-12 Performance Task
Contributed by: New York State Education Department (NYSED)
Developed through University of Buffalo and NORC (1991)

Task-Specific Scoring Criteria for Physics Task #5: Electric Circuits


1. Statement of hypothesis Not required for this task
- Effect linked to variables  
- Directionality of effect  
- Expected effect/change  
- Independent variable  
- Dependent variable  
2. Procedures for investigation  
- Detailed procedure/experimentally feasible Add voltages across both resistors and multiply by current to determine power dissipated (P = VI)
- Sequence to plan Ammeter is connected to series with resistors. Voltmeter is connected in parallel
- General strategy Determine the current in the circuit and the voltages across the two resistors.
- Safety procedures Close the switch only after the instructor has checked the circuit. Do not touch the leads with the switch closed.
- Use of equipment/diagram Include both resistors in circuit with battery and switch.
3. Plan for recording and organizing observations/data  
- Space for manipulation of data Space for calculating average values of current V1 and V2 as well as total voltage.
- Matched to plan Data plan matched procedure as in step 2 above.
- Organized sequentially Construct a data table with Run 1 and Run 2 columns and rows labeled Current (I), Voltage across one resistor (V1), and Voltage across second resistor (V2).
- Labelled fully (units included) Current in mA; Voltage in V.
- Variables identified Current, voltage across each resistor, total resistance



4. Quality of observations/data  
- Consistent data Current should remain constant, and Vtotal should equal V1 + V2.
- Accurate measurements/observations A/V-meter readings to the smallest division of scales.
- Completed data table All available data recorded.
- Correct units Current (I) in mA; voltage in V.
- Qualitative description *
5. Graph Not required for this task
- Curve is appropriate to data trend  
- Points plotted accurately  
- Appropriate scale  
- Axes labelled with variables  
- Variables placed on correct axes  
6. Calculations  
- Calculated accurately *
- Substituted correctly into relationship Calculated values substituted accurately into formula.
- Relationship stated or implied * (Relationship stated by formula provided.)
- Units used correctly Convert from mA into A in the equations to produce power in watts.
- Use of all data available Use the averages of the two trials and total voltage in circuit.
7. Conclusion  
- Consistent with scientific principles *
- Sources of error *
- Consistent with data Conclusion is consistent with student's experimental results.
- Relationship among variables stated Power is the product of total voltage and current.
- Variables stated in conclusion Power dissipated across two resistors in watts


* These elements were not scored in this task; a "holistic" scoring approach was utilized so that the other four elements had a total value of 5 points.


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