Performance-based assessments provide a more realistic way of assessing skills which reflect real world lived experiences. Students need to be prepared for workplace environments that don’t rely on standardized evaluations. Employers seek out those who can demonstrate the ability to apply their skills and utilize their knowledge-base to identify and solve problems. Students need to be prepared to meet these challenges. Performance-based assessments showcase or measure a student’s use of higher order thinking and their ability to create products and complete processes.
Performance-based assessments provide a way for students to be able to apply knowledge across multiple disciplines and increase their worth as productive and valuable employees. Students learn to be contributing members to group work and able to develop viable action plans in new situations on a timely basis. Performance-based assessments make students more responsible for demonstrating what they have learned.
What are some drawbacks of performance-based assessments? These types of assessments can be difficult to conduct in larger classes as compared to standardized testing. They are more costly and time consuming which can be problematic in tight budget environments.
We know that standardized testing can affect outcomes for marginalized groups of students, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that performance-based assessments are a superior alternative. In order to better meet the needs of diverse learners, how project-based assessments are designed and implemented is a better indication that greater equity will be achieved. Performance-based assessments can benefit diverse learners when paired with technology, customization, teacher collaboration and professional development for teachers and staff.
How can teachers create performance-based assessments for their students? They must first have a clear and definable understanding of their subject matter and then be able to identify goals they intend to assess. Teachers should set course standards, be prepared to identify students’ learning gaps, design the course, provide materials and implement educational learning plans.
Performance-based assessments become authentic when they are considered meaningful and students are engaged. Consideration should be taken that the product created or final activity provides a way for students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter. Authentic assessments such as presentations, portfolios, performances or projects must be open-ended and open to multiple potential outcomes. A transcript of this chat is available at Wakelet.
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About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Performance Based Assessment & Learning (YouTube 3:08)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad