Performance Assessment

Authentic assessment presents students with real-world challenges that require them to apply their relevant skills and knowledge. For this reason it is a critical piece for assessing student skills, knowledge and final products as related to a service-learning project.

Basic Elements
Authentic assessment accomplishes each of the following goals:

  • Requires students to develop responses rather than select from predetermined options
  • Elicits higher order thinking in addition to basic skills
  • Directly evaluates holistic projects
  • Synthesizes with classroom instruction and the service learning experience
  • Uses samples of student work (portfolios) collected over an extended time period
  • Stems from clear criteria made known to students
  • Allows for the possibility of multiple human judgments, including community partners and/or members
  • Relates more closely to the service experience and what is being learned in the classroom
  • Teaches students to evaluate their own work

Adapted from Performance Matters: Assessing Student Learning from Picturing the Possibilities: What Powerful Teaching and Learning Can Look Like video series created and produced by the Small Schools Project.

For a more detailed explanation of using performance assessment with service learning see: Linking Service With Learning – Developing Student Learning Assessment for Service Learning Projects. Go to Project Leadership’s Website to download an entire copy of this text.

Website Resources:

National Service-Learning and Assessment Study Group. Service-learning and Assessment: A Field Guide for Teachers. 1999. Washington, D.C.: Learn and Serve America. A comprehensive guide for teachers on assessing service-learning. The following topics are covered: planning for assessment, rubrics for looking at student products, KWLs and Anchor tasks, inviting students into the process, how service-learning can demonstrate standards, and planning and reflection tools. The guide is divided into 8 parts.

Guide on Assessment and Learning
Develop[ed] by The National Service-Learning and Assessment Study Group, October 19, 1999

Assessment Strategies
Assessment Strategies – a great resource for a variety of assessment strategies that work well with service learning.

For more information on performance assessment, click here for an annotated bibliography.

Comments are closed.