Performance Based Assessment Tools

by Hans Fredrick ; Updated September 26, 2017
Performance based assessment tools can evaluate how well the knowledge imparted has been learned.

Performance based assessment tools are used in the education system as well as in the business world. In either case, they are a different way of allowing educators or trainers to evaluate how well someone is absorbing material that they are being taught. Performance based assessment tools attempt to measure the degree to which a student can practically apply the knowledge they have been taught.


Tests are the cornerstone of performance based assessment. The idea behind this kind of assessment is that there needs to be an effective way of measuring the performance of a student or an employee. This can only be done through a specialized test that can assess how the student or the employee is able to practically apply the material that is to be learned. Developing testing tools that utilize performance based assessment is one of the most important processes in implementing this type of an evaluation system. The test can be as simple as the activity that you are teaching the student about, but with an active aim to evaluate performance.

Levels of Proficiency

In order to evaluate someone's performance in the testing exercise, you have to break down the skills that are involved into various levels of proficiency associated with the given material. Performance based assessment breaks skill in any area into three levels. These are the foundation, intermediate and proficient levels. When applying a performance based assessment evaluation, you need to first define what constitutes the basic foundation skills that are the bare minimum required in the topic area. Then, define what skills a person proficient in that area should exhibit. Place your intermediate level somewhere between the two.

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Human Evaluation

One of the keys to performance based assessment is the evaluation of the performance of the student by a human. This is different from standardized testing that often utilizes multiple choice questionnaires and is then scored by a machine. During human evaluation, when the subject completes the task that is outlined in the testing guidelines, their performance or results will be monitored by a person. The evaluator will be familiar with the criteria that make up the various levels of proficiency. They then place the student into one of those categories based on their performance.

About the Author

Hans Fredrick has been busy in the online writing world since 2005. He has written on diverse topics ranging from career advice for actors to tips for motorcycle maintenance. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan.

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