” These two ways of looking at literacy do not compete; the challenge is to find the right balance between them (Figure 2).
The subject area content can come from already defined curriculums or can be enhanced by the adoption of a set of themes or topics by the department, grade-level team, school, or school system.
One result is that teachers can more consistently and fairly evaluate and grade student work.
Information from performance task assessment lists also helps students set learning goals and thus helps teachers focus subsequent instruction.
Time management, individual responsibility, honesty, persistence, and intrapersonal skills, such as appreciation of diversity and working cooperatively with others, are examples of work habits necessary for an individual to be successful in life.
Performance tasks build on earlier content knowledge, process skills, and work habits and are strategically placed in the lesson or unit to enhance learning as the student “pulls it all together.” Such performance tasks are not “add-ons” at the end of instruction.Finally, as students work with performance assessment, the quality of their work improves, reducing the time teachers must spend assessing and grading student work.Performance tasks should be interesting to the student and well connected to the important content, process skills, and work habits of the curriculum.On the first column of lines, the teacher indicates the points each element is worth.Some elements receive more points in order to focus students' attention on skills in need of improvement.Performance-based learning and assessment achieve a balanced approach by extending traditional fact-and-skill instruction (Figure 1).Performance-based learning and assessment are not a curriculum design.Performance tasks range from short activities taking only a few minutes to projects culminating in polished products for audiences in and outside of the classroom.In the beginning, most performance tasks should fall on the short end of the continuum.Teachers find that many activities they are already doing can be shaped into performance-learning tasks.Two initial concerns of teachers moving toward performance-based classrooms include the amount of time needed for performance tasks and the subjectivity traditionally associated with teacher assessment and assigning “grades.” The initial move to any new method involves an investment in time.