Performance-based assessment is an
alternative form of assessment that moves away from traditional
paper and pencil tests. Performance-based assessment involves having
the students produce a project, whether it is oral, written or a
group performance. The students are engaged in creating a final
project that exhibits their understanding of a concept they have
A unique quality of performance-based assessment is that is allows the students to be assessed based on a process. The teacher is able to see first hand how the students produce language in real-world situations. In addition, performance-based assessments tend to have a higher content validity because a process is being measured. The focus remains on the process, rather than the product in performance-based assessment.
There are two parts to performance-based assessments. The first part is a clearly defined task for the students to complete. This is called the product descriptor. The assessments are either product related, specific to certain content or specific to a given task. The second part is a list of explicit criteria that are used to assess the students. Generally this comes in the form of a rubric. The rubrics can either be analytical, meaning it assesses the final product in parts, or holistic, meaning that is assesses the final product as a whole.
Performance-based assessment tasks are generally not as formally structured. There is room for creativity and student design in performance-based tasks. Generally, these tasks measure the students when they are actually performing the given task. Due to the nature of these tasks, performance-based assessment is highly interactive. Students are interacting with each other in order to complete real-world examples of language tasks. Also, performance-based assessment tends to integrate many different skills. For example, reading and writing can be involved in one task or speaking and listening can be involved in the same task.
Performance-based assessment is an opportunity to allow students to produce language in real-world contexts while being assessed. This type of assessment is unique because it is not a traditional test format. Some examples of performance-based assessment tasks are as follows:
Types of Performance-Based
3. Oral Reports
4. Original Stories
5. Oral Interview
7. Poetry Recitations
9. Puppet Show
10. Art Work/ Designs/Drawings
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