Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 14/14.3.1

Getting Students Involved
By: Cadam024

Learning Targets

• Students should be able to define what a performance based assessment is

• Students should know examples and how to get students involved in the process


For many years, teachers spend ample amounts of time testing students and trying to come up with creative ways to test students other than the basic pencil and paper test. Teachers need to find creative ways to get students involved especially the younger children in the lower elementary age because they might not have the attention span of an older child who can with stand many pencil and paper tests. A good way to get students involved in the assessment process is by switching from the basic tests and start using performance based assessments.

What is a Performance Based Assessment?

A performance based assessment is testing that requires students to create answers based on their knowledge and skills (Sweet, 1933, ("What Should").

Performance assessments include problem solving and answering questions in a written response form. It also allows students to work together in groups and get a sense of team work ("What Should").

Performance based assessments are great for young children in elementary schools because they include things such as dioramas, posters, and other things that give the children a chance to have a little bit of fun with their subjects as well as allowing them to show their creative sides. When children have fun with their assessments and subjects, it allows them to enjoy what they are learning and shows them that school and learning can be fun.

Other types of performance assessments:

• Worksheets

• Experiments

• Power point

• Color recognition

• Presentations in front of the class

Teachers can use bright colored pictures such as this one not only for color recognition but he/she can tie it into a science lesson on flowers.
What are the advantages and disadvantages to performance based assessments?


There are many advantages to performance based testing not only to students but to teachers as well. Performance based assessments allow teachers to pin point their students weaknesses and strengths which gives them insight into what they did a good job of covering as well as what material may need to be recovered and possibly in a different way to get the students to understand better ("What Should").

Another advantage to teachers and other school officials is that these performance assessments give them the opportunity to see what skills and knowledge the children have gained and which skills they want to be taught to the kids and which areas can be bypassed ("What Should"). The biggest advantage to the school and it's officials would be that it doesn't cost the school any money.


Some disadvantages of performance based tests that are given to our children can include limitations to the teacher such as teaching specifically to the test and not allowing the students to learn outside of the test material as well as limiting the value of the test ("What Should"). A big desadvantage to the teachers is that the test can "cost" them time due to the preparation and planning involved with the assessments and would take away time from other lessons (Sweet, 1933).

Performance tests can be completely new to the students because they are so used to the traditional pencil and paper tests that they need to be prepared for the new types of assignments and the new ways of being graded.

Another disadvantage can be found in the structure of the test. The performance based assessments usually don’t contain as many questions and the answers to the questions don’t have right or wrong answers the majority of them are subjective ("What Should").

It’s good because it allows the children to show what they have learned and how they interpreted the material that was presented to them however; since it’s subjective, it presents the problem to the teacher as to how the assignment will be graded.

Example along with an explanation

When searching online I found a great example of a performance based assessment. I found a sight that has several worksheets that teachers can use for lessons. One of the worksheets I found is a math lesson called "Answer Me, Color Me!." This worksheets works in the teachers favor because not only is it a math lesson it’s also a color recognition lesson.

The worksheet is of a worm and in each of its sections is a math problem that the student must solve. Upon solving the math problem, the student must match the answer with the color given and color that segment of the worm. Each segment will end up a different color once all problems are solved the students will end up with a colorful worm.

This is a wonderful example to use with the young students in order for them to be involved in the learning process; they have two lessons in one, its fun and keeps the children involved while having fun with the assignment.

Click here to see the worksheet mentioned above:

You can click here to get to the site where you can get worksheets to use for lessons:


Many teachers today struggle with assessments and everyday assignments in the attempt to teach their lesson but at the same time make it fun and intriguing for the students so that they can be involved in the processes as well as have fun.


1. What is a Performance-Based Assessment?

    A. Tests that require students to form the answers using skills and knowledge
    B. Tests that require the teacher to form the answers using skills and knowledge
    C. Testing that Officials decide are necessary in order to be successful
    D. A form of testing to see if the teachers are "performing" to their best potential

2. Which of the following is not an advantage of Performance Based Assessments?

    A. The teacher can identify the strengths and weaknesses of his/her students
    B. Officials can identify what tyoes of things they would and wouldn't like to be taught
    C. They take time away from other lessons and take time to plan
    D. The students have a chance to be creative and have fun

3. Which of the following is not an example of Performance Assessment?

    A. Dana did a skit on flowers
    B. John made a diorama on the solar system
    C. Jennifer took a paper and pencil test on her home state Virginia
    D. Tim, James, and Shawn gave a presentation on how the Earth rotates

4. Timmy made a diorama of the solar system and brought it into class. Mrs. Jones asked him if he would stand up and explain it to the class. What type of assessment is this?

    A. Traditional
    B. Summative
    C. Multiple Choice
    D. Performance


"Answer Me, Color Me!" Retrieved March 21, 2009 from

Sweet, David(September 1993). Performance Assessment. Consumer Guide, v. 2. March 21, 2009 from

"What Should Parents Know About Performance Assessments?" Retrieved March 21, 2009 from


1. A 2. C 3. C 4. D

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