The process of using student activities or products, as opposed to tests or surveys, to evaluate students' knowledge, skills, and development. Methods include: essays, oral presentations, exhibitions, performances, and demonstrations. Examples include: reflective journals (daily/weekly); capstone experiences; demonstrations of student work (e.g. acting in a theatrical production, playing an instrument, observing a student teaching a lesson); products of student work (e.g. Art students produce paintings/drawings, Journalism students write newspaper articles, Geography students create maps, Computer Science students generate computer programs, etc.).
A formal assessment method in which a student's skill in carrying out an activity and producing a product is observed and judged (e.g., construction of a woodworking project; completion of an essay in English, research report in history, or lab in science).
Performance assessment "requires students to actively accomplish complex and significant tasks, while bringing to bear prior knowledge, recent learning and relevant skills to solve realistic or authentic problems" (Herman, et al., 1992, p. 2).