Posts Tagged ‘Performance Assessment’

Performance Assessment

What Is Performance Assessment?

February 5, 2019

William Heard Kilpatrick  “The Project Method”

Today, despite major advances in ways to measure learning, we still don’t have common definitions for project-based learning or performance assessment.

In the absence of agreed-upon definitions for this evolving field, Education Week reporters developed a glossary

Proficiency-based or competency-based learning: These terms are interchangeable. They refer to the practice of allowing students to progress in their learning as they master a set of standards or competencies. Students can advance at different rates. Typically, there is an attempt to build students’ ownership and understanding of their learning goals and often a focus on “personalizing” students’ learning based on their needs and interests.

Project-based learning: Students learn through an extended project, which may have a number of checkpoints or assessments along the way. Key features are inquiry, exploration, the extended duration of the project, and iteration (requiring students to revise and reflect, for example). A subset of project-based learning is problem-based learning, which focuses on a specific challenge for which students must find a solution.

Standards-based grading: This refers to the practice of giving students nuanced and detailed descriptions of their performance against specific criteria or standards, not on a bell curve. It can stand alone or exist alongside traditional letter grading.

Performance assessment: This assessment measures how well students apply their knowledge, skills, and abilities to authentic problems. The key feature is that it requires the student to produce something, such as a report, experiment, or performance, which is scored against specific criteria.

Portfolio: This assessment consists of a body of student work collected over an extended period, from a few weeks to a year or more. This work can be produced in response to a test prompt or assignment but is often simply drawn from everyday classroom tasks. Frequently, portfolios also contain an element of student reflection.

Exhibition: A type of performance assessment that requires a public presentation, as in the sciences or performing arts. Other fields can also require an exhibition component. Students might be required, for instance, to justify their position in an oral presentation or debate.

Performance task: A piece of work students are asked to do to show how well they apply their knowledge, skills, or abilities—from writing an essay to diagnosing and fixing a broken circuit. A performance assessment typically consists of several performance tasks. Performance tasks also may be included in traditional multiple-choice tests.


Standards, Assessments and Rubrics

Standards, Assessments and Rubrics


Communicating Students convey information, describe process, and express ideas in accurate, engaging, and understandable ways.

Researching Students identify and access a variety of resources through which they retrieve and organize data they have determined to be authentic and potentially relevant to their task.

Thinking Critically Students use structured methods to weigh the relevance and impact of their decisions and actions against desired outcomes and adjust accordingly.

Thinking Creatively Students comprehend and employ principles of creative and productive problem solving to understand and mitigate real-world problems.
Keep in mind, however, that standards don’t prepare students for anything. They are a framework of expectations and educational objectives. Without the organization and processes to achieve them, they are worthless.

Student Assessment

Significance An instructionally useful assessment measures students’ attainment of a worthwhile curricular aim—for instance, a high-level cognitive skill or a substantial body of important knowledge.

Teachability An instructionally useful assessment measures something teachable. Teachability means that most teachers, if they deliver reasonably effective instruction aimed at the assessment’s targets, can get most of their students to master what the test measures.

Describability A useful assessment provides or is directly based on sufficiently clear descriptions of the skills and knowledge it measures so that teachers can design properly focused instructional activities.

Reportability An instructionally useful assessment yields results at a specific enough level to inform teachers about the effectiveness of the instruction they provide.

Nonintrusiveness In clear recognition that testing time takes away from teaching time, an instructionally useful assessment shouldn’t take too long to administer—it should not intrude excessively on instructional activities.

Performance Assessment