Performance based education is a method of teaching in which pupils achieve specific objectives by completing tasks. Teachers set tasks to demonstrate a particular skill or knowledge, and the performance of pupils on these tasks illustrates the learning process. Tasks must be challenging but also appropriate for the level of the students, for example, a foundation-level pupil should be given simple and structured tasks. As the pupil progresses, he or she is given increasingly complex and independent tasks. Tasks must be related to real-life situations, and teachers should develop explicit performance criteria and expected levels for each benchmark.
The learning process is closely tied to performance. Students are asked to demonstrate their skills, and develop their work habits, rather than merely knowledge. Performance-based assessment allows students multiple opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, and it also encourages students to learn outside of class. For students, a performance-based assessment is not the end of learning; it may be the start of an engagement with a new area of interest. There are many advantages to a performance-based education.
The performance-based model has the potential to help institutions and communities achieve their goals. Higher education institutions can increase enrollment, but they must also ensure that students complete degrees and have the skills to compete in a fast-changing economy. Performance-based funding aligns the goals of the state and institutions and helps state agencies invest limited resources wisely. And, it can help reduce the risk of mismanagement and inefficiency among colleges. With these advantages, it is worth considering this approach.
PBA works best when students are given greater responsibility and accountability for their performance. This allows them to reflect on their learning and to identify areas of improvement. It is essential to provide ongoing feedback to students and follow-up to ensure that the performance-based education model is working effectively. Once the students feel responsible for their work, they will have more motivation to succeed. Moreover, performance-based education fosters greater self-awareness and responsibility.
Using performance-based learning strategies in schools helps instructors customize their lessons for students. The process becomes more engaging and smooth when students are able to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life situations. Performance-based learning also fosters peer guidance, collaboration, and consensus-building. Students are also taught to respect others’ opinions and to share responsibility. And while it can be time-consuming, the benefits are worth the effort.
Using tests to assess student performance requires the teacher to create a test that challenges students’ problem-solving skills and critical thinking. While the test will still involve a variety of elements, it should focus on skills rather than knowledge. While the system is still in the early stages, many educators are starting to realize the value of assessing students according to their skills. And many of these educators are members of the performance-based education movement.
In practice, performance-based learning has become a common method of funding higher education. States like Tennessee are implementing performance-based funding for their public colleges. In Pennsylvania, over 80 percent of state higher education funding will be allocated based on student performance. The state’s GRAD Act is one example of such a plan. In addition to performance-based funding, the GRAD Act has also implemented a performance-based contract with individual institutions.