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Performance-Based Assessments


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.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZST/Noon AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa 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:


Performance-Based Assessment for 21st-Century Skills (Prufrock)

Performance-Based Assessment: Reviewing the Basics

Taking Teaching to (Performance) Task: Linking Pedagogical and Assessment Practices (pdf)

Stanford: What is Performance-Based Assessment? (pdf)

What is Performance-Based Learning and Assessment and Why is it Important?

Developing Assessments of Deeper Learning: The Costs and Benefits of Using Tests that Help Students Learn (pdf)

Authentic Ways to Develop Performance-Based Activities

Performance Based Assessment

Does Performance Based Assessment Produce Better Students?

Performance Assessment and Authentic Assessment: A Conceptual Analysis of the Literature (pdf)

Connecting Performance Assessment to Instruction: A Comparison of Behavioral Assessment, Mastery Learning, Curriculum-Based Measurement, and Performance Assessment (ERIC)

Fairness in Performance Assessment (ERIC)

Guidelines for the Development and Management of Performance Assessments (ERIC)

Developing and Implementing an Assessment Plan

Program-Based Review and Assessment (pdf)

Basic Steps of Program Assessment

Performance Based Assessment & Learning (YouTube 3:08)

Performance-Based Assessment: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

Performance Assessment: A Deeper Look at Practice and Research

Cybraryman’s Assessments Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

#gtchat: When Parents Push Too Hard

“People push so hard for grades. More focus should be on learning, curiosity, and exploring passions; not pushing for A’s.” ~ Krissy Venosdale, elementary teacher of gifted children

On November 16, 2012, #gtchatters discussed the topic, “When Parents Push Too Hard”. The transcript can be found at Storify. Links presented during the chat can be found below.

Participants from 21 states and 5 countries helped to make this a very exciting chat. Questions posed considered whether parents of gifted children can push them too hard and if they do push; why? Of special interest were reports of parents in NYC schools hiring tutors and academic coaches for their preschoolers in hopes of getting them into the city’s limited spaces in the gifted and talented program.


Bright NYC Kids: Gifted & Talented Mock Tests

New York Family: Special Parents Seminar on Gifted Education

NYC Parents Struggling with Difficult New Gifted & Talented Test for Their Children

Michele Borba: Gifted Children: Are We pushing too hard?

How Hard Should We Push Our Child at School?

Kids Are Worth It! : Giving Your Kids the Gift of Inner Discipline

What’s the Point of School?” Guy Claxton (video)

101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids by Christine Fonseca

From Cybraryman1 “Team Claco

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