Characteristics of Performance
|•||What are the characteristics of performance assessments in practice?|
|•||What are the facilitators and barriers in assessment reform?|
|•||What kind of impacts do performance assessments have on teaching and learning?|
Our 16 case studies (summarized in Appendix B) generated rich data that allow us not only to provide preliminary answers to the research questions, but also to formulate informed hypotheses about the practicality and usefulness of performance assessments. These hypotheses, in turn, may provide a framework for making policy decisions and for testing the usefulness and practicality of assessment reforms in a variety of educational contexts. In other words, our approach is inductive: Through the analyses, we are able to draw some generalizations about the nature and outcomes of assessment reform, but these generalizations themselves must be tested in future research.
The cross-case analysis is divided into four chapters: Characteristics of Performance Assessments (this chapter), Facilitators and Barriers in Assessment Reform (chap. 3), Teacher Appropriation of Performance Assessments (chap. 4), and Impact of Performance Assessments on Teaching and Learning (chap. 5). Before we embark on the analysis, however, we must summarize our conceptualization of the relationships among performance assessments and