10 ways to ruin a performance task

10 ways to undermine a performance task

  1. Practice and rehearse the task during preparation.
  2. Provide information during the task to prompt responses, hindering student thinking.
  3. Structure the task with specific directions and steps that create a response that reflects teacher thinking, not the student.
  4. Use poor item formats or items that target the wrong skills or content. Students need an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in the right context.
  5. Task lacks clear guidelines.
  6. Hands-on tasks are too structured. Students demonstrate the ability to follow directions, not higher order thinking.
  7. Accept only one way to answer and respond to the task.
  8. The task contains many lower level thinking item types, not higher order thinking items.
  9. Structure of assessment binds answers to a single type of response.
  10. Assess the easiest aspects of student performance instead of making students think through their response.

Reference: Creating Tests Worth Taking. Wiggins, Grant. Educational Leadership, v49 n8 p26-33 May 1992

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