Performance-Based Assessments

The NCSS Social Studies Performance-Based Assessment Clearinghouse has been created to provide:

  1. examples of social studies performance-based assessment measures conducted at local and state levels
  2. research findings that support the use of performance-based assessment to inform instruction, and
  3. existing educational policies that can inform advocacy efforts for the inclusion of social studies performance-based assessment at the local, state and national level.


Many teachers have created their own performance assessments that could be included in this archive. For instance, my students were recently asked to take notes on a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte. Then, they were asked to use their textbook to corroborateĀ or match the historical details from the video biography and provide a page number as a citation.


The chart above illustrates that advanced students were able to corroborate 12-20 facts in one 53-minute class period, while lower-achieving students could only match 1 to 5 historical details from the textbook to the film in the same timeframe. This population of 9th and 10th grade World History students (N=30) had an average performance of 7.87 historical matches. This activity gives students a purpose for taking notes and immediate feedback on the usefulness of their note-taking techniques. The image below shows how students matched video content to the historical details in their textbook.


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