Journal: Educational Researcher Author: David B. Swanson Publication Date: May 1995 Volume Number: 24 Issue: 5 Page Numbers: 5-11
Description: This is an old paper, but I consider it a "classic". The lessons outlined in the paper still hold true and are valuable for all working in the performance assessment field. The fact that examiness are tested in realistic performance situations does not make the test design and domain sampling simple and straightforward. No matter how realistic a performance-based assessment is, it is still a simulation and examinees do not behave in the same way they would in real life. While high fidelity performance-based assessment methods often yield rich and intersting examinee behaviour, scoring that behaviour can be problematic. Regardless of the assessments methods used, performance in one context does not predict performance in other contexts very well. Correlational studies of the relationship between performance-based test scores and other assessment methods targeting different skills typically produce variable and uninterpretable results. Because performance-based assessment methods are often complex to administer, multiple test forms and test administrations are required. All high-stakes assessments, regardless of the method used, have an impact on teaching and learning.

SUBMITTED BY: John Norcini
Support links: Performance-Based Assessment: Lessons From the Health Professions