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Performance Assessments Maryellen S. Cosgrove, Ph.D. Nov. 10, 2005 1. Defining performance assessments 2. Justifying performance assessments 3.

Constructing rubrics 4. Examining some samples 5. Creating our own performance tasks and assessments 6. Summarizing . References Marzano, R. J. (2000). Transforming classroom grading. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & McTighe, J. (1993). Assessing student outcomes: Performance assessment using the dimensions of learning model. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. McTighne, J., & Wiggins, G. (2004). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. National Commission on Testing and Public Policy. (1991). From gatekeeper to gateway: Transforming testing in America. Chestnut Hill, MA: National Commission on Testing and Public Policy. National Evaluation Systems, Inc. (1997). Linking standards and assessment. Amherst, MA: NES Resnick, L. B. (1987). Education and learning to think. Wash., D.C.: National Academy. Secretarys Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills. (1991). What work requires of schools. Wash., D.C: U.S. Department of Labor. Shepard, L. A. (1989). Why we need better assessments. Educational Leadership, 46(7), 4-9. Taggart, G. J., Phifer, S. J., Nixon, J. S., & Wood, M. (Eds.). (1998). Rubrics: A handbook for construction and use. Lancaster, PA: Technomic Publications. Tucker, M. S. & Codding, J. B. (1998). Standards for our schools: How to set them, measure them, and reach them. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

1. Defining performance assessments: Performance assessment is the measurement of integrated knowledge and skills through defined tasks contextualized in authentic settings, which elicit from examinees open-ended responses that are scored judgmentally. (NES, 1997, p. 82)

Assessment needs to be closely linked to teaching and learning in order to provide useful feedback to students, teachers and parents. It is also important that educators specify not only the content-specific knowledge and skills students need to demonstrate, but also the knowledge and skills that cut across content areas and are applicable in real life settings. (Marzano, 2000)

2. Justifying performance assessments: The Department of Labor identified a broad array of both academic and nonacademic competencies as necessary for the modern workplace, including creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, learning how to learn, collaboration, and selfmanagement. (Secretarys Commission, 1991).

In order to learn and use knowledge at higher levels, students must: 1. Have positive attitudes about learning, 2. Acquire and integrate knowledge, 3. Extend and refine knowledge, 4. Use knowledge meaningfully, and 5. Demonstrate productive habits of mind. Five Dimensions of Learning (Marzano, Pickering, McTighe, 1993)

Current models of learning based on cognitive psychology contend that learners gain understanding when they construct their own knowledge and develop their own cognitive maps of interconnections among facts and concepts . Real learning cannot be spoonfed one skill at a time. (Shepard, 1989, p. 5-6).

3. Constructing rubrics: Many of the tests we do use are unable to measure what should be the hallmark of a thinking curriculum; the cultivation of students ability to apply skills and knowledge to real-world problems. Testing practices may in fact interfere with the kind of higher order skills that are desired. (Resnick, 1987, p. 47)

If we want students to learn to solve open-ended science problems, we should assess their problemsolving skills by other means than multiple-choice tests in which they choose among alternative prescribed answers. Carefully crafted assessments would ask students to supply answers, perform observable acts, demonstrate skills, create products, and supply portfolios of work. (National Commission on Testing and Public Policy, 1991, p. 10)

You cant assess students performance unless you give them the tasks, and you cant assess their degree of achievement unless they actually perform the tasks. But first you must be clear about what you want students to know and be able to do. Those standards become the target for creating the assessment. (Tucker& Codding, 1998, p. 3)

4. Examining some samples: Performance tasks are complex challenges that mirror issues and problems found in real life. They range in length from short-term tasks to long-term, multi-staged projects, they yield one or more tangible products or performances. The setting is real or simulated with an identified audience. The task, evaluative criteria and standards are known in advance and guide student work. (McTighe & Wiggins, 2004, p. 142)

Sample Authentic Performance Tasks Geometry Middle School With a partner design packaging that will hold 576 cans of Campbells Tomato Soup (net weight, 10 oz.) or packaging that will hold 144 boxes of Kelloggs Rice Krispies (net weight, 19 oz.). Use and list each individual packages real measurements; create scale drawings of front, top and side perspectives; show the unfolded boxes/containers in a scale drawing; and build a proportional three-dimensional model. You will be assessed on and provided rubrics on the following: 1. your ability to create and use models to communicate mathematical ideas, 2. your ability to measure capacity, and 3. your ability to work cooperatively with a partner. (Marzano, 2000, p. 97) Science Classification Middle School Working in pairs, list as many insects as possible and create a classification system that focuses on key characteristics of the insects and place the insects from your list in the appropriate categories. Do the same classification procedure two more times, but from the following perspectives: 1. An exterminator (sample categories of insects found in homes) and 2. A frog (sample categories of insects that fly above water). Include a list of the resources you used and explain in a short paragraph which were most and least useful. Be ready to share with the class some interesting things you discovered as a result of doing these classifications. You will be assessed on and provided rubrics for the following: 1. your understanding of the characteristics of insects, 2. your ability to specify important defining characteristics of the categories, 3. your ability to accurately sort the identification items or elements into the categories, 4. your ability to effectively use a variety of information gathering techniques and informational resources, and 5. your ability to communicate your results to others. (Marzano, Pickering & McTighe, 1993)