Performance-based assessment in education: what it is, types and benefits

Performance-based assessment in education seeks the practical, real-world application of knowledge acquired by students on their daily basis.   This...
4 July 2024

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Performance-based assessment in education: what it is, types and benefits

Performance-based assessment in education seeks the practical, real-world application of knowledge acquired by students on their daily basis.  

This form of assessment responds to the need of educators to seek and test new ways of teaching that are not only innovative, but also allow them to follow the whole process and the student’s learning environment.

We have prepared this article to tell you more in detail about what performance-based assessments are, the types that exist and some benefits that will help you better understand this methodology. 

Performance-based assessment in education: what it is, types and benefits

What are performance-based assessments? 

Performance-based assessment is a type of student evaluation established on the practical application of classroom learning in real-life scenarios. The learner has complete independence in deciding how to solve the problem or what material to use. 

Performance-based assessment, also known by the acronym PBA, allows not only to assess the student’s competencies and thinking skills, but also to increase their commitment to their professional future. 

This type of assessment provides the teacher with a unique and personalized view of what the students are learning and the level of understanding they are developing of the subject matter.  


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Benefits of Performance-Based Assessment

In analyzing the benefits of PBA, we need to distinguish the source of the benefits. 

For the learner

There are 5 main benefits of PBA for the learner: 

  1. Deeper and more relevant learning. Learners “learn to learn” by having to reflect on the experience they are focusing on. Critical thinking, research, inquiry and writing skills also play a key role in this performance evaluation process. 
  2. More concrete application in real-life situations. Assessments correspond to real-world projects with authentic scenarios and assignments that go beyond theory to provide practical solutions. 
  3. More academically rigorous and professional preparation. Students are prepared specifically for the demands they will face in the future. Moving from theory to practice. 
  4. The development of critical thinking and socioemotional skills such as motivation. This educational experience includes personal growth and the advancement of skills such as perseverance or creative problem solving.
  5. A commitment to improving collaboration and communication skills. Some of these evaluations bring together several students who must provide solutions to the same problem. The collaboration in contributing these solutions allows for active listening among them to find an effective solution.
What are performance-based assessments?

For teachers

As far as the teachers are concerned, there are 4 advantages resulting from the application of this methodology. 

  1. Continuous reflection. Teachers are forced to constantly reflect on how to help students on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Alignment of curriculum, training and assessment practices. All three elements must work in the same direction, which requires teachers to see the process as a whole rather than as isolated elements. 
  3. Build stronger relationships between teachers and students. Teachers should be responsible for encouraging students to bring their own imprint and interests to the project, so that it is easier for the former to help with actions in favor of the latter’s motivation, commitment, appropriate behavior and psychological support.
  4. Developing opportunities for collaboration among teachers. The success of this type of evaluation also lies in the exchange of results from different projects and in the analysis of these results. 

Types of Performance-Based Evaluations

There are 4 general types of performance-based assessment:

  1. Project-based. The student completes a project, either by creating a model, conducting research or producing a disruptive work using innovative means.
  2. Portfolio-based. The student participates in multiple projects with a specific pillar theme and deadline. 
  3. Simulation. This type of evaluation can include, for example, role-playing games in which students develop immersive learning to simulate real-world situations. 
  4. Real-world. Students assume the actual role of the concept being studied, forcing them to develop skills similar to those they will need in the future at a professional level. 
Benefits of Performance-Based Assessment

If the classification is based on the activity performed, then the types of performance-based tasks are 7

  1. Solving a problem.
  2. Completing an investigation.
  3. Determining a position.
  4. Demonstration task.
  5. Developing exhibits.
  6. Presentation assignment.
  7. Capstone performance.

Finally, if in classifying the types of performance-based assessments we focus on the time required for the assessment and the possibility or not of reviewing the work performed, then we have 2 options: 

  1. Events. In this on-demand assessment, the learner has virtually no time to prepare or rehearse a response.  
  2. Assignments. In this case, students have enough time to prepare their response as they think about it. It is a more extensive work that can be a presentation, a text, a self-reflection or a sample of application to a real work. 

At Smowltech we have experience in creating secure environments that also increase the confidence in the evaluation process. Check out our proctoring plans and find the one that best suits your needs.
And if you’d like more information and to see how our solutions fit into your educational project, don’t hesitate to ask for a free demo to show you how we can help you.


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