There are many ways in which performance assessments contribute to learning. For example, exhibitions, projects, and portfolios provide multiple occasions for review and revision toward a polished performance. These opportunities help students examine both how they learn and how to improve their performance. Students are often expected to present their work to an audience, such as groups of faculty, visitors, parents, or other students, to ensure that their mastery is genuine. These public presentations signal to students that their work is valued and reinforce the significance of their tasks in a real-world context.
Two final notes: For assessments to serve the critical functions
detailed above, they must be grounded in a conception of learning as developmental and in a belief that all students will learn from experience
and feedback, rather than being constrained by innate ability.
It is also important to remember that the most effective performance
assessments are part of a related set of practices that include
the integration of assessment and instruction, systematic use
of iterative cycles of reflection and action, and ongoing opportunity
for students to improve their work.