Assessment should be part of the learning process, not just a way to keep score. Performance assessments enable learners to show what they know and can do, rather than what they’ve memorized.
Performance assessment is an assessment activity or set of activities that requires examinees to generate products or performances that provide direct or indirect evidence of the examinee’s knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) in an academic content domain or professional discipline.
Performance assessments support both formative and summative uses, and guide instruction and encourage educators to increase expectations for student learning.
1. Short-constructed response items, which require test-takers to write brief responses that capture their knowledge and thinking processes, create graphical representations of concepts, or manipulate objects or text in certain ways to communicate their understanding.
2. Essays, which require test-takers to create an extended written response to a specific prompt for a particular purpose, such as to describe, entertain, persuade, or explain.
3. Performance tasks, which require test-takers to analyze a collection of materials, which could include a scenario, reading passages, graphs, charts, images or audio or video files, and respond to a series of related activities.
4. Demonstrations, which give students a chance to physically show what they know and can do and may include driving tests, playing a musical instrument, or repairing an engine.
5. Projects, which require more extended and student-directed investigations of a given problem, and may include term papers, science fair projects, honors theses, and group research presentations.
6. Portfolios, which are collection of a student or job candidate’s work that illustrates either current knowledge, skills and abilities within a domain, such as art or architecture, or growth in those capabilities over time.
7. Online games and simulated environments, which are just beginning to be used for assessment rather than entertainment purposes. This approach requires examinees to delve deeply into a richly-simulated digital environment, interact with peers or avatars and manipulate objects to obtain information, infer goals and rules, plan, track their own progress, persist, and solve problems or make decisions.