Alternative/Performance-Based Assessment
(See Links Below)

There are generally two kinds of data used in educational assessment or evaluation, quantitative and qualitative.  A quantitative measurement uses values from an instrument based on a standardized system that intentionally limits data collection to a selected or predetermined set of possible responses.  Qualitative measurement is more concerned with detailed descriptions of situations or performance, hence it can be much more subjective but can also be much more valuable in the hands of an experienced teacher.

Tasks used in performance-based assessment include essays, oral presentations, open-ended problems, hands-on problems, real-world simulations and other authentic tasks.  Such tasks are concerned with problem solving and understanding.  Just like standardized achievement tests, some performance-based assessments also have norms, but the approach and philosophy are much different than traditional standardized tests.  The underlying concept is that the student should produce evidence of accomplishment of curriculum goals which can be maintained for later use as a collection of evidence to demonstrate achievement, and perhaps also the teacher's efforts to educate the child.

Performance-based assessment is sometimes characterized as assessing real life, with students assuming responsibility for self-evaluation.  Testing is "done" to a student, while performance assessment is done by the student as a form of self-reflection and self-assessment.  The overriding philosophy of performance-based assessment is that teachers should have access to information that can provide ways to improve achievement, demonstrate exactly what a student does or does not understand, relate learning experiences to instruction, and combine assessment with teaching.

In broad terms, there are three types of performance-based assessment: performances, portfolios, and projects.  The determination of differences among performance, portfolio, and projects can be rather loosely interpreted, but the differences are distinct enough to permit separate classification among the different categories.  Material can be collected as actual products or video and computer archives. Examples of school tasks that may be included in performance-based assessment are:
·Art work
·Problems solved
·Internet transmissions
·Oral reports
·Puppet shows
·Original plays,  stories, dances
·Reading selection
·Designs and drawings
·Documentary reports
·Performance, musical instrument
·Scale models
·Model construction
·Poetry recitations
·Story illustrations
·Foreign language activities
·Musical compositions
·Story boards
·Musical scores
·Plans for inventions

Return to emTech's Home Page