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Performance -based Assessment: Key #4

Hello Colleagues, Key #4 in the five keys to comprehensive assessment presented by Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond is "Performance Assessment." Performance assessment can take many forms, but the goal is that the performance task is something that is modeled after real life experiences. So students might develop a portfolio of their work; they might collaborate on a research project and present it to a group of evaluators and be expected to defend their project.

Darling-Hammond notes that performance assessments engage students in collaboration, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, which artfully blend both cognitive and non cognitive skills. In my view -and in my experience, this type of assessment can be highly motivating for the adults in our classrooms.

A recent project students completed in my class (i.e., a pre Certified Nursing Assistant course) focused on specific diseases. Each group chose a specific disease to research and prepared a presentation for the class. I could have made this more authentic by inviting a CNA or nurse educator to provide feedback to the students.

What examples of performance assessments have implemented in your teaching? Have you found that this type of assessment supports both cognitive and non cognitive skill development? How so?

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Assessment CoP