Experts in performance-based assessment share research on student engagement and effort
June 3, 2021, NEW YORK – The Council for Aid to Education, Inc. (CAE), a nonprofit developer of performance-based and custom assessments that authentically measure students’ essential college and career readiness skills, recently presented “Leveraging Performance Tasks to Assess College Readiness”, at “Assessment Challenges of Our New Decade” hosted by Beyond Multiple Choice. An international community of education and training-industry stakeholders committed to exploring, innovating, and implementing the future of assessment, Beyond Multiple Choice drew hundreds of attendees from around the world, explored urgent challenges confronting the future of assessment, and shared expert visions, plans, and tools to address them.
According to Beyond Multiple Choice, assessments have come increasingly under fire over the past decade, with critics claiming they are overused, inequitably applied, and not aligned with optimal outcomes for training and education. The challenges of COVID-19 highlighted already existing perceptions of assessment deficiencies.
CAE’s product director, Kelly Rotholz was one of more than a dozen diverse experts across the global landscape who explored this dynamic at BMC 2021. She presented the case for using authentic assessment and CAE’s 20-year history of using performance tasks to measure secondary and higher education students’ college and career readiness skills.
She shared a sample performance task with the attendees, showcasing how the assessments situate students in real-world scenarios and require students to analyze and synthesize data and information, address important issues, propose solutions, and recommend courses of action to resolve conflicts. Rotholz then outlined CAE’s research showing that students are more engaged and put forth more effort on a performance task than conventional multiple-choice assessments.
“Performance-based assessments mirror real-world situations that are familiar to students which creates strong engagement,” said Rotholz. “With greater engagement and effort from the students, educators can gain insights into students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities rather than just the students’ ability to memorize and recall.”
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