Performance-based assessment (or just “performance assessment”) is the phrase we use when talking about assessing student performances. The word “performances,” however, is applied pretty broadly. Performances, for example, can be projects, exhibitions, lab investigations, and public reports. The kinds of things students
are asked to do are usually aplication oriented, applying basic ideas to larger contexts or demonstrating complex skills. Performance tasks often involve writing papers, but other activities can also be performance tasks–like lab practicals or giving speeches.
Performance tasks are often somewhat complex, so educators agree that it’s a good idea to help students understand exactly what the teacher expects them to do–before starting the assignment–via grading standards. Rubrics are a prime example of this idea. A rubric is a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work. In other words, the rubric tells students what “counts” for their grade. See the post below to learn more about rubrics.