Four Reasons Why Performance-Based Tasks Make Excellent Formative Assessments

Posted by Matt Berringer on April 3, 2014

A new whitepaper by SunGard K-12 Education shared four reasons why performance-based formative assessment not only guides instruction but also is an effective part of the student learning process. Recent research by Jan and Steve Chappuis of the Assessment Training Institute found these learning/assessment tools:

  • Provide Near Immediate Feedback to Students. During performance-based formative assessments, teachers can “assess each step of the project, redirect as needed, and check for understanding.” By providing prompt feedback, these types of formative assessments allow students to more easily answer three questions: Where am I going? Where am I now? How can I close the gap?
  • Offer Deeper Evaluations. “Some students struggle more with ‘sit and get’ learning; for those students, creative, smaller, or hands-on tasks may better allow them to illustrate their understanding.” These tasks engage them in deeper evaluations through exploration, investigation, and action.
  • Create Student-Centered Evaluation/Learning. In student-centered evaluation, students can act as group leaders, research for themselves, and teach each other—all of which frees the teacher to observe, make anecdotal notes, and plan future instruction.
  • Serve as Practice for Students. These types of assessments “serve as practice for students, just like a meaningful homework assignment does.”

By allowing teachers to gather, interpret, and act on information throughout the students’ learning process, formative assessment plays a critical role in tracking successful and unsuccessful patterns in both teaching and learning. For more insights, download the full whitepaper at THIS LINK.

Interested in reading more about formative assessment? READ OUR POST about the recent eSchool News panel discussion, which was sponsored by SunGard K-12 Education.

Topics: Formative Assessments, education, assessment, K-12