FACTUAL FRIDAY: The Meaning of Performance Tasks

What: Performance Tasks

The Meaning:

Performance tasks help uncover deeper levels of student understanding by measuring a student’s ability to think through a complex problem that may have more than one correct answer. They call for students to apply their knowledge within an authentic learning experience, which may take anywhere from minutes to days to complete. These items will be scored using rubrics based on the cognitive skills being assessed.

Characteristics of a Performance Task:

  • Reflects a real-world task and/or scenario-based problem
  • Exercises a student’s ability to analyze, interpret, problem-solve, report, and more
  • Measures one or more of the Common Core State Standards
  • Engages students with relevant and meaningful content
  • Addresses 21st century skills
  • Can be combined with multiple choice, constructive response, or other item types on a single test
  • Informs assessment, instruction, and learning

Why Are Performance Tasks Important:

  • The Common Core State Standards cannot be successfully measured without using evidence-centered questioning. Many Common Core standards require students to conduct research, present, produce, draw, develop, gather, report, explain, compare and contrast, and more. Many of these standards can only fully be measured with quality performance tasks that require students to conduct these activities.
  • Performance Tasks are required on future high stakes assessments. Both consortia have released sample performance tasks to support district plans to begin preparing for these item types.

Products with Performance Tasks:

Acuity Performance Task System allows teachers to create their own performance tasks — project-based learning modules with formative assessment capabilities fully integrated — for English Language Arts, math and science activities, which they can assign based on skill level or content area. Teachers have the option of asking students to provide written or multiple-choice responses to a reading passage, for example, or provide layered, multidimensional analysis in the form of charts, visual displays or mathematical formulas.

With Acuity’s Common Core Performance Tasks, educators can measure students’ cognitive and reasoning skills as well as their ability to apply knowledge to solve realistic, meaningful problems, and use the results to target and improve instruction.

Each of the CTB Performance Tasks can be copied and edited, if you want to add or take away questions—in other words, to make our tasks your own!

To see a typical mathematics performance task found in a Common Core Assessment, click HERE.

Writing Roadmap is another product that uses Performance Tasks as a way to assign (and assess) students targeted practice prompts.

  • The teacher assigns a writing prompt—or creates a new prompt—in any of four styles: Narrative, Informative/Expository, Descriptive, and Persuasive. Writing Roadmap’s scoring technology assigns a holistic score on a 4, 5 or 6-point scale, which is selected by the teacher, for any essay at the desired grade level.
  • Students write essays online and then submit, revise, and resubmit essays based on the feedback they receive from the system or from personalized feedback provided by their teachers.

Watch a product tour here!

For more information on how we can help, visit assessmentsforcommoncore.com for all our capabilities and to download our free eGuide today!

This entry was posted in Acuity, Assessment Glossary, Writing Roadmap and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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