GRASPS - Ron & Steffan

GRASPS is a design tool for creating authentic performance assessments. The acronym stands for Goal, Role, Audience, Situation, Performance Standards.
This tool is used to design performance tasks. Performance tasks are assessments that give students a real world problem to solve, and students are required to create a tangible product or performance for an intended audience. Evaluative criteria and performance standards for these type of assessments are appropriate to the task and understood by the students.
The goal of GRASPS is to place the components of this framework in the outline of the acronym. The goal states the purpose of the task; the role explains student involvement in the scenario; the audience identifies the people the students address; the situation explains the scenario; the product is the tangible evidence of student understanding; and the standards/criteria describe how students can complete the task successfully. By using this tool students can successfully create complete authentic assessments and understand why and how they are to be created.


World War II Veterans Interview

Your task is to interview a World War II veteran of either the European or Pacific Theater.
· The Goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the lives and sacrifices of those who served during World War II.
· The Problem or challenge is many veterans are reluctanct to discuss theirmemories that they consider private and personal. You also have the challenge of researching and having a working knowledge of your veterans theater of operations and military duties.
· The obstacles to overcome are located qualified veterans who are physically and mentally capable and willing to provide oral histories for your project.
· You are a World War II historian for the Smithsonian
· You have been asked to research and document the lives of the "Greatest Generation" to provide primary source documents for prosperity.
· Your job is to thoughtfully research, interview, and chronicle the personal histories of World War II veterans.
· Your Clients are the Congress of the United States and the military services
· The target audience is the decendants of World War II veterans and all American citizens
· You need to convince the interviewee that their sincere and candid participation is essential in preserving the sacrifices that they and their fellow servicemen made in World War II.
· The context you find yourself in is a historian assigned to the Smithsonian institute in Washington D.C. and Congress has just passed legislation requiring the institute to chronicle the military sacrifices and history of World War II veterans.
· The challenge involves dealing with the often emotional events encountered by veterans of World War II
Product, Performance and Purpose:
· You will create a taped video interview of the veteran in order to accurately chronicle their experiences and service to the United States during World War II
· You need to develop a working knowledge of the theater of operations, the strategic goals, and historical perspective of the interviewee's role in the War so that the interview puts the individuals personal history into larger perspective and your questions direct and provide a list of general questions to the interview.
The purpose of the interviews is to provide a historical first hand account of the lives of veterans during WWII while the opportunity still exists.
Standards and Criteria for Success:
· Your performance needs to provide the audience with a detailed, informative, and complete video biography of the veterans contribution and service in their specific theater of operations. At a minimum the video will provide the audience with an inside look at the daily routines, living conditions, and personal anecdotes that may only be provided by individual veterans.
· Your work will be judged by a rubric that will be provided upon your first interview
· Your product must meet the following standards It must provide insight not available through secondary sources and must be respectful to the contributions of the veteran.

Student Impact
This provides students with authentic tasks through role playing. Allowing students to investigate history through primary and secondary sources provides for a deeper understanding of the challenges that faced everyday people and decision makers. Students must analyze history as well as determine cause and effect.

Percieved Dificulties
Authentic tasks often take a large amount of instructional time to implement and produce.

What we might like or dislike about implementing this strategy
Likes- GRASP's is an excellent tool to develop authentic tasks. The template helps both teachers and students unsderstand exactly what is expected in the final product. It also acknowledges difficulties (challenges) that students and teachers must identify and prepare for.
Dislike-It may be to generic for all authentic tasks and students or teachers may construct cookie cutter assignments after using the strategy several times.


Wiggins, Grant,. McTighe, Jay., (2005) Understanding by Design, (2nd Edition). Alexandra: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development