Performance tasks require students to create a product or develop answers that illustrate their comprehension and mastery of desired objectives. This type of product developed is virtually limitless. If students are developing answers the questions must require higher level critical thinking skills.
Strengths: This form of assessment has a wide variety of strengths. Strengths of performance tasks include that it requires students to prove their mastery of the objective at a deeper more multi-faceted level than traditional assessments. Furthermore, it allows students with a variety of different learning styles and ability levels to demonstrate their comprehension in a way that best suits their needs. In addition, it provides students with choices and increases student engagement and productivity. Finally, it allows students to reflect on their learning and apply that knowledge to the task.
Weaknesses: Performance tasks require a tremendous amount of teacher development and monitoring. Additionally, performance tasks can be ineffectual if not specifically linked stated objectives. Finally, performance tasks may be too complicated for special needs students if not properly modified to meet their ability levels.
Role of Technology: Technology allows teachers to create far more advanced comprehensive performance tasks. An example could include students using video cameras and movie development technology to create a movie illustrating student mastery of material. In addition, technology allows students to publish their work which increases student engagement and accountability. Finally, technology can assist teachers in developing rubrics to ensure that students understand how their work will be assessed.