Performance-Based Assessment

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Performance-based assessments share the key characteristic of accurately measuring one or more specific course standards. They are also complex, authentic, process/product-oriented, open-ended, and time-bound. Performance-based assessments have recently experienced a reemergence in education literature and curricula. In the 1990s, performance-based assessments became a valid alternative to traditional multiple-choice tests. In the years that followed, legislative requirements shifted the emphasis to standardized testing, which caused a decline in nontraditional testing methods (Darling-Hammond & Adamson, 2013). Currently, more school districts and universities are seeking authentic measures of student learning, and performance-based assessments…show more content…
In general, a performance-based assessment measures students ' ability to apply the skills and knowledge learned from a unit or units of study. Typically, the task challenges students to use their higher-order thinking skills to create a product or complete a process (Chun, 2010). Tasks can range from a simple constructed response (e.g., short answer) to a complex design proposal of a sustainable neighborhood. Arguably, the most genuine assessments require students to complete a task that closely mirrors the responsibilities of a professional, e.g., artist, engineer, laboratory technician, financial analyst, or consumer advocate.
Essential components of a performance-based assessment:
Although performance-based assessments vary, the majority of them share key characteristics. First and foremost, the assessment accurately measures one or more specific course standards. Additionally, it is:
1. Complex
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Performance assessment taps into students ' higher-order thinking skills, such as evaluating the reliability of information sources, synthesizing information to draw conclusions, or using deductive/inductive reasoning to solve a problem. Performance tasks may require students to make an argument with supporting evidence, conduct a controlled experiment, solve a complex problem, or build a model. These tasks often have more than one acceptable solution or answer, and teachers use rubrics as a key part of assessing student work. Brualdi is of the view that students who continuously encounter with the lower level questions are directed towards the basic level of thinking. On the other hand, high-level questions are helpful for students to think more creatively and multi-dimensionally (Brualdi,
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