Authentic Performance Tasks

Assessing Students’ Understanding and Ability to
Apply Their Learning in Relevant, Meaningful
To develop a rationale for using
authentic, performance-based
To understand the context for authentic
performance tasks as part of a balanced
assessment system
To recognize the qualities of a highquality, authentic performance task
To develop performance-based
assessments that provide opportunities
for students to demonstrate what they
know, understand, and are able to do
Enduring Understandings:
There is a direct connection between
curriculum and instruction and student
High quality curriculum is designed to
develop student understanding by
uncovering complex ideas which involves
students doing authentic practice
Providing students with the opportunity
to work like professionals will ensure true
understanding of the content and provide
How might we ensure that students see the
relevance of what we are teaching?
To what extent can the use of authentic
performance tasks assess students’
understanding and ability to apply their
learning in meaningful and relevant ways?
In what ways can we ensure that students are
provided with rigorous work that mirrors the
work of experts?
 Assessment for understanding must be
grounded in authentic performance-based tasks
 Authentic performance-based assessments
provide opportunities for students to work like
experts in a given field
 Performance-based assessments must be
aligned with K-U-Ds developed in Stage 1
 Understanding is revealed in performance
 Use the GRASP tool to design a PBA
 Analyze performance tasks in order to
understand authenticity
Strategic Objectives
Obj. 1
Obj. 2
Obj. 4
All teachers will engage every student in meaningful, authentic and
rigorous work through the use of innovative instructional practices
and supportive technologies that will motivate students to be selfdirected and inquisitive learners.
VBCPS will develop and implement a balanced assessment system
that accurately reflects student demonstration and mastery of VBCPS
outcomes for student success.
VBCPS will create opportunities for parents, community and business
leaders to fulfill their essential roles as actively engaged partners in
supporting student achievement and outcomes for student success.
VBCPS Outcomes for Student Success:
Our primary focus is on teaching and assessing those
skills our students need to thrive as 21st century
learners, workers and citizens. All VBCPS students
will be:
 Academically proficient;
 Effective communicators and collaborators;
 Globally aware, independent, responsible learners
and citizens; and
 Critical and creative thinkers, innovators and
problems solvers.
Think about an assessment exercise that
significantly contributed to your learning (in
school or out).
What features characterized your experience?
What factors in the assessment (and how they
were used) most contributed to your
Generalize “Assessments promote learning
Jay McTighe
Balanced Assessment for Improved Learning
3 Stages of
(“Backward”) Design
1. Identify desired results
2. Determine acceptable evidence
3. Plan learning experiences
& instruction
Based on the work of Grant Wiggins and
Jay McTighe
VBCPS: Office of Gifted Education
Analyze the two tasks provided
How are the tasks similar in nature
How are they different
Which task is more authentic
Key Terms
Performance Tasks- A task that gives the student the opportunity to
illustrate, perform, or demonstrate what they know, understand, and can
Authentic Performance Task- A task that gives the student the opportunity
to illustrate, perform, or demonstrate what they know, understand, and can
do through a real-world challenge so that they are working like an expert
in the field.
Performance Assessment- Involves more than a single test of performance
and might use other modes of assessment such as surveys, interviews of
the performer, observations, or quizzes.
Authentic Assessment- An assessment composed of performance tasks
and activities designed to simulate or replicate important real-world
challenges. Authentic assessments ask students to use knowledge in realworld ways, with genuine purposes, audiences, and situational variables.
Understanding by Design
Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
Authentic Performance Tasks
•Provide complex challenges that mirror the issues and
problems of adults
•Are open-ended
•Engage students in doing the work of experts in the field
•Are naturally more rigorous than traditional assessments
•Require the application of knowledge and skills
•Are aligned with the identified KUD’s from Stage 1
Understanding by Design
Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
•Structure performance tasks so that there is not one right answer or one right
approach to arriving at answers
•Ensure that even if there is a “right” answer you are looking for, that arriving
at the answer follows sound reasoning and a supported argument or approach
•Students should have to consider when to use which approach and which facts
•Ensure that the task involves transfer
•The performance should require students to figure out which knowledge and
skills are needed in order to efficiently and effectively arrive at a solution
•Limit the amount of cues or prompts that are offered when framing the task.
•Establish evaluative criteria and performance standards that are appropriate to
the task and known by the students in advance
Understanding by Design
Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
UbD Facet
Facet Description
Facet 1:
Sophisticated explanations and theories
Facet 2:
Interpretations, narratives, and
Facet 3:
Use knowledge in new situations and
Facet 4:
Critical and insightful points of view
Facet 5: Empathy
Ability to get inside another person's
Facet 6: Selfknowledge
To know one's ignorance, prejudice,
and understanding
McTighe and Wiggins Understanding
By Design, 2005
by Design
Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
•Understanding is composed of all six facets
•The facets should permeate among all three stages of
backward design
•The facets help us clarify the desired understandings,
necessary assessment tasks and learning activities that
will most likely advance student understanding
•Good design will make clear the idea that the learner
must make sense out of what the teacher teaches
•Students learn to move beyond taking in what is covered
to uncovering what lies beneath the surface of facts and
to ponder their meaning
Understanding by Design
Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
A tool used to design authentic performance
Each letter of GRASPS corresponds with a task
When using the prompts for each part of the
acronym, it is not necessary to respond to all
Consider creating at least one core
performance task for assessing understanding
in a major unit of study
Understanding by Design
Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
GRASPS- A tool used to design authentic
performance tasks.
G- What is the Goal in the scenario?
R- What is the Role?
A- Who is the Audience?
S- What is your Situation (context)?
P- What is the Performance challenge?
S- By what Standards will work be judged in
the scenario?
Understanding by Design
Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
Examine the task
Compare the GRASPS tool with the written
task to see how the tool was used to create
the task
Where do you see the Facets of
Understanding embedded in the task?
Allow students to step into the role assigned
to them by defining what the expert does
Focus their understanding on the skills,
language, and products of an expert in the
Sample Frame
Why do we need clear criteria?
— Address the fact that understanding within open-ended prompts and
performance tasks is subjective
— Allow students to demonstrate varying degrees of understanding
— Allow for consistency in grading
— Highlight most revealing and important aspects of the work--not just
those easy to see or score
— Let students know up front what is required to be successful
— Derive criteria from established goals (i.e. EU & EQs)
Understanding by Design Professional
Development Workbook by J. McTighe and G.
Wiggins, 2004.
Understanding by Design Expanded 2nd Edition
by J. McTighe and G. Wiggins, 2005.
Assessment in the classroom: the key to good
instruction. by C. Callahan, 2006.
The Case for Authentic Assessment by G.
Wiggins, Eric Digests, 1990.
Performance Tasks
Name: _____________________
Comments, Suggestions, Ideas, & Questions
In what ways did the content and activities of
today’s workshop enhance your understanding
of performance assessments?
What questions do you have as a result of
today’s workshop?
Office of Gifted Education

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