Teachers are responsible for evaluating students and analyzing whether or not the students have mastered skills. Teachers need to have a variety of methods they can use to accurately measure student progress towards goals. Constructed Response and Performance-Based Assessments are two ways teachers use to evaluate students. Each of these two evaluation methods have several similarities and a few differences.
Performance-based assessments and constructed responses are similar because students are expected to demonstrate some skill and provide a solution or show mastery of a skill. Unlike other assessment techniques, students are expected to supply the answer. A constructed response is where students are responding to a prompt or question in a written format. Students are not selecting an answer from a multiple-choice format. Students are expected to use what information they have been given to make a meaningful written response. Similarly, in a performance-based assessment, students are expected to complete a task that evaluates their ability to meet mastery of a skill or standard. A constructed response could be seen as a performance based assessment as students are able to show mastery of the writing process in conveying information. The difference is in performance-based assessments not being only for written responses. A performance-based assessment could be students having to assemble a certain object, dissect an animal, or label a diagram of parts without a keyword bank.
The advantages of constructed-response and performance-based assessments is the requirement for students to do cognitive work without the aid of possible answer choices. This means students are going to need a firm understanding of the skill or standard being measured. Students are also going to have to be prepared to show mastery of the skills or standard in a way that a written, multiple-choice, fill in the blank or another test can’t measure. In these tests, students have more ownership of being able to show what they know. One advantage of using a constructed response or performance-based assessment is the use of a rubric. A rubric allows the teacher to evaluate the student’s responses in a more objective way. The rubric tells the students and the evaluator exactly what is being measured and how it is being measured. Teachers should share with the students the rubric being used to measure their performance.
Constructed response and performance-based assessments are amazing ways for students to show mastery of skills and standards. It is also a great way for teachers to evaluate student ability. By using these two assessment measures teachers are increasing the rigor in their classrooms. Students are able to show what they know. It is a better way of assessing student skills.
Frey, B. B. (2017). Modern Classroom Assessment. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.