Using Digital Tools to Increase Authenticity and Access in Performance-Based Assessment and Project-Based Learning
Abstract: Performance-Based Assessments (PBA) and Project-Based Learning (PBL) have taken center stage as a means of encouraging and assessing deeper learning. Their emphasis on higher order thinking skills and transfer of learning – as well as their potential to help students exercise and hone 21st Century skills – render them priceless tools in the pursuit to ensure all students are college and career ready (Guha, Wagner, Darling-Hammond, Taylor, & Curtis, 2018). Recognizing the value of PBA and PBL, many teachers, schools, and districts have begun to embrace these models as integral components of curriculum design and/or as alternate means of high-stakes assessments. This trend should be regarded with cautious optimism. While the benefits of PBAs and PBL are promising, many teachers run into unforeseen roadblocks during implementation, including students’ 1) lack of motivation, 2) struggle to access necessary resources, and 3) frustrations managing time, materials, and collaborations. Thankfully, there are many digital tools that can help students surmount each of these three roadblocks. This presentation will present digital solutions to problems of implementation experienced by educators adopting PBA and PBL in their classroom, school, or district.