Digging Deeper: Performance Assessment
What is Performance Assessment?
We’ve demonstrated since the ’90s that valid assessment results can come from a wide range of student activities. To gather such information, we’ve worked with states to incorporate performance tasks into instruction and assessment, in projects such as :
- Tasks including both group and individual outcomes in Kentucky
- Hands-on vocational practicum tests in Rhode Island
- Collaboration with teachers on instructional and assessment tasks in Ohio
- “Practical inquiry” tasks in the current New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) science tests
- Instructional and assessment tasks—plus training on scoring and range-finding—for ELA and mathematics in grades 1–high school with educators in Maryland
Our performance tasks follow one of two general models.
- One type is made up of several multiple-choice and open-response items “clustered” around a common stimulus.
- Another type uses a set of “scaffolded” tasks, stepping students through increasingly difficult exercises, leading to a final, synthesizing activity.
For both formative classroom assessment and summative programs, we’ve developed models for performance task test design, scoring, standard setting, and psychometric analysis that provide reliable and valid data.