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MEXTESOL - October 16, 2008

 Theoretical Framework
 Work with sample performance tasks
 Designing performance tasks
Soccer Match
 Concepts
 Purpose
 Strategies
 Context
Designing Performance Tasks as an
Alternative Form of Assessment
 Designing Experiences – teacher plays
a role as facilitator and coach
 Performance Tasks (authentic, credible,
and user-friendly)(Wiggins, 1998, p. 139)
 Alternative Form of assessment
 Language-enhanced instruction (LEI)
(Brinton, 2007): “…aimed at developing skills as
well as content knowledge”
 Shift from drill and practice to
understandings and application of
 Levels of understandings as opposed to
“right-and-wrong” answers
 Shift from superficial to in depth
 Feedback is fundamental to learning
 Focus not only on the what but the
when, where, why, and how of the
language, understanding, knowledge,
content, skill, etc.
Backward Design
Desired Enduring
Results Understandings

Assessment Four skills Vocabulary
Evidence (subskills) Pronunciation

enabling Critical thinking

Learning knowledge (meta) cognitive
Plan (content)
PTs provide evidence through:


Knowing Doing
(discrete facts) (language)
Six Facets of Understanding
 Can explain
 Can interpret
 Can apply
 Has perspective
 Demonstrates empathy
 Reveals self-knowledge

See handout, page 155 .

Backward Design
Desired Performance
Results task

Assessment Four
Evidence skills/vocabulary

Learning (enabling
Plan knowledge)
and Integration
of Target

Purpose or
Strategies, and
Types of Assessment
 Informal checks for understandings
 Observations and dialogues (alternative)
 Tests and quizzes (traditional)
 Academic prompts (alternative)
 Performance tasks (alternative)

(Wiggins and McTighe, 2005)

Examples of PTs
 Examine the following performance task
vignettes on the following slides. What
distinguishes these tasks from typical,
standardized test? What common
features or characteristics do these
share? List characteristics or features
that you observe.
Express Yourself
 You have recently analyzed the narrative
work of Faith Ringgold to identify ways
she communicated ideas about her
world. Think about your own world, your
friends, family, daily experiences, and
the things that are important to you.
Select a drawing or painting, or use
mixed media to create your own
narrative work that communicates
personal ideas about your world.
We Salute You
 Your tutor, English teacher, etc. Mrs. ___,
has done many things to help us
throughout the year. When people do
things for you, it is important to show
appreciation. We will each be writing a
letter to her to thank her and let her know
how she has helped our class. Your letter
should include all the parts of a friendly
letter. Be sure to tell her at least three
ways she has been helpful to our class.
Include at least one thing that you
especially appreciate about her.
Mail-order Friend
 Imagine that you have an opportunity to
“order” a friend by telephone from a mail-
order catalog. Think about the qualities
that you want in a friend. Before you
“order” your friend over the telephone,
practice asking for three characteristics
that you want in a friend and give an
example of each characteristic.
Remember to speak clearly and loud
enough so that the salesperson will know
exactly who to send.
GRASPS Task Design Prompts
 Goal
 Role
 Audience
 Situation
 Product, Performance, and Purpose
 Standards and Criteria for Success

See handout, page 172 .

Essential Questions –
 Why do people have poor eating habits?
 Must food that is really good for you
taste bad?
 Why do experts often disagree about
dietary guidelines? What agreement
exists amidst the disagreement?
Essential Questions –
 What distinguishes a fluent foreigner
from a native speaker?
 What can we learn about our own
language and culture from studying
Essential Questions –
 What makes a good friend?
 How do friends resolve conflict?
 How can conflict be a good thing?
Things to consider:
 Teachers are experience designers,
assessors, facilitators, and coaches
 PTs allow ELLs to “do” English
 PTs are a concrete way of providing
evidence of learning, understanding,
and transfer
Design principles for PTs
 Learning-appropriate goals
 Scaffolds for student and teacher
 Frequent opportunities for formative
assessment and revision
 Social organizations that promote

(Fisher and Frey, 2007)

Effective techniques for using
 Multimedia presentations
 Electronic and paper portfolios
 Visual displays of information (e.g.,
graphic organizers)
 Public performances

(Fisher and Frey, 2007)

In summary…
 PTs that include the six facets of
understanding: explain, interpret, apply,
perspective, empathy, and self-
 PTs: phonology and phonetics,
vocabulary, cognitive, metacognitive
strategies are embedded in
In summary…
 PTs are presented to ELLs at the
beginning of the course/unit
 Performance tasks should require
reflection, explicit self-assessment, and
self-adjustment, with reasoning or
rationale made as evident as possible.
(Wiggins and McTighe, 2005, p. 167)
Final thought…

Designing performance tasks should be a

collaborative effort among all stakeholders.
Bransford, J., Brown, A., and Cocking, R. (2000).
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and
School: Expanded Edition. Retrieved on
September 13, 2008 from
Brinton, D. M. (2007, July). Two for one? Language
enhanced instruction. Paper delivered at the
TESOL ESP Symposium, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Available at:
Bruner, J. (1960). The Process of Education.
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University
Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. New
York, NY: Touchstone.
Fisher, D. and Frey, N. (2007). Checking for
Understanding: Formative Assessment
Techniques for your Classroom. Alexandria, VA:
Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development (ASCD)
Marzano, R. (2007). The Art and Science of
Teaching: A comprehensive framework for
effective teaching. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
McTighe, J. and Wiggins, G. (2004). Understanding
by Design: Professional Development Workbook.
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development (ASCD).
Popham, W. (2008). Transformative Assessment.
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development (ASCD).
Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding
by Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2007). Schooling by
Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative Assessment:
Designing Assessments to Inform and Improve
Student Performance. San Francisco, CA: