Assessing Deeper Learning: A Survey of Performance Assessment and Mastery-Tracking Tools
Authored by Carri Schneider and Tom Vander Ark
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In partnership with: Asia Society, ConnectEd California, Envision Education, New Tech Network
This report outlines twelve key features of a performance based assessment system including; interoperability, calibration of scores, a library of tasks, support for multiple revisions and collaboration, standards-based project rubrics, available professional development, reporting tools, customization, student portfolio development, an updated user experience and an affordable price tag.
Barriers identified in obtaining better performance assessments tools include:
- The wide range of performance assessment and open-ended nature of the responses make it challenging to build generalizable capabilities
- Several tools were developed for specific school networks and are not available outside the network
- Some tools developed for specific-use cases use terminology and assume practices that may be a barrier to adoption in other cases
- Attempts to add flexibility add many (often unintuitive) steps to construct a standards-based performance task
- There are no recognized standards or best practices in measuring non-cognitive variables (also called social emotional learning or habits of success)
Until recently, it was deemed unattractive to invest in performance assessments, resulting in a gap between program expectations and availability of tools to serve this emerging niche. This paper outlines the needs of this type of platform as the shift to Deeper Learning and the application of educational technology continues to progress.