Principles and Practices of Performance Assessment

By Nidhi Khattri; Alison L. Reeve et al. | Go to book overview

6
Assessment Reform: Findings
and Implications
Educators and policymakers across the nation have invested a fair amount of faith in performance assessments as a promising tool of education reform, the goal of which is to enhance students' development of critical thinking skills, writing skills, multidisciplinary understanding, and social competencies. We now face an essential question: Is such faith warranted?Assessment reform--the shift toward performance-based assessments and away from multiple-choice, norm-referenced tests--is based on the assumption that performance assessments are more pedagogically valuable and more accurate reflections of student achievement than are multiple-choice tests. Specifically, assessment reform is based on the assumptions that:
Performance assessments support the teaching and the learning of problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills, and multidisciplinary understanding--all of which are essential for enhancing student achievement.
Assessing student performance against established standards is better than assessing performance against group norms.
Performance assessments provide a better measure of student strengths and weaknesses than do multiple choice tests. In addition, many educators claim that performance assessments are more interesting for students, and, therefore, engage students in the assessment process.

Findings from our study indicate that the efficacy of using performance assessments as a strategy for education reform is not unequivocally demonstrated in terms of enhanced student achievement, but that some positive changes that support student learning have, indeed, occurred in educational structures and processes. Those changes, however significant, are far from

-143-

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Principles and Practices of Performance Assessment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface xi
  • 1- Introduction 1
  • 2- Characteristics of Performance Assessments 15
  • 3- Facilitators and Barriers In Assessment Reform 62
  • 4- Teacher Appropriation Of Performance Assessments 85
  • 5- Impact of Performance Assessments on Teaching And Learning 119
  • 6- Assessment Reform: Findings And Implications 143
  • Appendix A- Study Objectives and Design 165
  • Appendix C 233
  • References 237
  • Author Index 241
  • Subject Index 243
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