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Performance-Based Assessment

  • By: Jeffrey P. Braden
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Since the late 1980s, many states, districts, and schools have developed performance assessments (PAs) to measure students' achievement of educational standards. PA comprises assessment techniques in which students must, independently or in small groups, construct responses to complex tasks that emulate realistic problems faced within an academic domain. For example, PA in mathematics might require students to estimate the amount of paint needed to cover a house by applying concepts of geometry, algebra, proportions, and other mathematical principles.

Although PA, authentic assessment, and portfolio assessment share the use of constructed responses and realistic problems, standards-based PA is unique because its content and outcomes are judged relative to specific academic standards. Educators develop and select PA tasks to assess students' mastery of specific academic standards, and judge ...

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