Assessing Project-Based Learning

teacher assessing student

Teachers have seen the results of providing students with real-world learning experiences. However, assessing their learning in our standards-based grading environment has proven to be a challenge. That doesn’t have to be the case. Assessing project-based learning experiences can best be accomplished by incorporating assessment in the planning process.

Good planning strategies include an articulated goal, a review of the resources and a clear indication of how success will be measured. Teachers and students benefit when teachers share their learning goals and assessment strategies with the students. Learning goals should be based on the Learning Standards, and assessments should reflect those goals.

When developing assessments, address three key questions:

  1. What processes and products will serve as evidence of learning in student work?
  2. What tools should be used by the students?
  3. What integrated evaluation will tie processes and products together?

Three types of products and outcomes should be incorporated: Tangible, Performance and Attitudinal. Examples follow:

  1. Tangible: The Student Submits Something
    • Graph/Chart/Drawing
    • Database/Spreadsheet
    • Essay/Research Paper
    • Test/Quiz
    • Model/Display
  2. Performance: The Student Does Something
    • Debate/Speech
    • Answers/Asks Questions in Class
    • Sports/Dance/Music
    • Play/Puppet Show/Role Playing
  3. Attitudinal: The Student Behaves in a Specific Manner
    • Attendance/Promptness
    • Participation
    • Polite to Classmates/Assists Classmates
    • Self Motivated/Turns in Assignments/Meets Deadlines
    • Complete and Correct Work

Developing these tools in concert with your goals will not only allow you to explain your assessment standards, they will guide you in the development of effective project-based learning activities.

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