Planning for the assessments in a project is a step that comes before the project begins in the classroom. Good assessment practices mean that students should know exactly what will be required of them, and what criteria will be used to evaluate their performance.
Projects also require the use of multiple measures, since you are trying to answer at least three questions at the end of a project:
|Question 1||How well do the students know the content of the topic of the project? Core content can be assessed in presentations, exhibitions, or through traditional methods, such as tests. Remember, that it is important that students be required to master the conventions, core principles, and vocabulary of a topic. Assessments should be designed to help you find out how well they have done in this important task.|
How well have they mastered the key skills learned in the project? Teaching skills is central to every good project. But skills cannot be assessed through a paper and pencil test—they need to be demonstrated. Projects should include performance assessments, or rubrics, that measure each skill to be learned in the project.
|Question 3||How well did they apply their knowledge and skills as they prepared their products? Projects require students to provide products for assessment, but the process of a project can also be assessed. There are many ways to do this. For example, rubrics can include measures of ‘progress over time’ or improvement. Students can be required to submit artifacts, such as records of their research efforts or interview notes that document their efforts and progress in a project.|
See the Evolution of a Project
PBL-Online Partner, George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF),
to learn more about these projects:|
Clear View Charter School: Introducing Project-Based Learning
Mountlake Terrace High School: Geometry in the Real World
Marin School of Arts and Technology: An Incredible Journey