Performance Based Assessment (33)

While any assessment system should include multiple assessment types that are matched with the needs of teachers (to make decisions regarding instruction) and learners, demonstration of mastery on schoolwide outcomes and high-level competencies should be assessed through a performance-based system. A performance-based assessment system is an integrated approach to education that underpins the culture of a school and links together a number of factors:

  • Curriculum
  • Instruction
  • Variety of student work over time
  • Continuous assessment
  • External oversight
  • High standards
  • Professional development

Using a performance-based assessment system requires that assessment must not stand apart from the day-to-day work and schooling, of every student; it must be continually incorporated into all activities. A performance-based assessment system requires students to engage in time-intensive, in-depth research projects and papers, to engage in rigorous performance tasks that require students to think like historians, solve problems like mathematicians, conduct experiments the way scientists do, critically interpret works of literature, and speak and write clearly and expressively. As in the time-honored tradition of the Ph.D. defense, students in a performance-based assessment system must orally present and defend completed work to external assessors.

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