Guidelines for Developing Tasks:
  1. Generate ideas for tasks drawing on your teaching experience, written sources, and community members. Community members are particularly useful in formulating real-world tasks that reflect the vision of success.

  2. When choosing tasks, consider whether the task:

    • matches the specific instructional intentions

    • represents adequately the content and skills you expect students to attain

    • enables students to demonstrate their learning and progress

    • uses authentic, real-world activities

    • is interdisciplinary

    • can measure of several goals

  3. Performance assessment tasks should be carefully documented. The following must be described in detail:

    • nature and format of questions

    • group or individual task--If group work, describe what group roles must be filled and how.

    • response mode (e.g., written essay, oral presentation and drawing)--Specify whether students, teachers, or both can choose the response mode.

    • materials/equipment needed

    • student directions

    • teacher directions and administrative constraints (e.g., amount of time allowed, order of tasks, assistance allowed)

  4. Once you have described the task in detail, ask yourself:

    • Does the task match the targets and goals?

    • Is the task a type of problem that students will experience frequently in schools and outside of schools?

    • Is the task and the language used in it culturally or gender biased?

    • Is the task credible to stakeholders?

    • Is the task meaningful and engaging to students so that they can demonstrate their capabilities?

(Adapted from Herman, Aschbacher, and Winters, 1992)


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