Sample Essay on Performance Assessment

A performance assessment relies on instructor observations  and professional judgments to draw inferences concerning a learner’s achievement.  However, the online environment as a result of technological advancements has offered other options in performance assessment for instance the incorporation of technological aspects like videos thus, online performance assessment. Activities and actions of the learner that occur in online setting can be used to assess performance in the online setting.  “The process of assessing performance is integrated with the learning process” (Neil, 2005). It is advantageous to both the student and the instructor but it also poses some challenges.

Performance assessment in an online setting comes with many benefits to the instructor. It enables the instructor to pass complex skills to the learner easily as compared to written assessments because it expands what the learner has witnessed. Oosterhof argues that online performance assessment also brings with a sense of security to the instructor in some environments (2008). Many instructors raise concerns about administering written assessments in some settings that are unprotected unlike in performance assessment in an online setting. It also comes with challenges to instructors. It is difficult to administer, produce and score, coming up with a performance test is difficult as compared to a written essay. Instructors are also susceptible to bias and may end up interpreting the same performance differently.

Performance assessment comes with several benefits to the learner, especially when using online resources. Students are able to understand complex skills. Learners can easily access the directions to the assessment and the scoring plan on online performance assessment. The main challenge is that it consumes a lot of time; learners require more time to complete as compared to written assessments. The assessment does not consider alternative skills of students.

Performance assessment has been used for a long time. It has been seen as the most reliable and efficient way to gauge the learning process. Performance assessment in the online environment has come with many benefits both to instructors and learners but though with some challenges.


Neil, J. (2005).Performance assessment in online learning. Atlanta, Wisconsin Technical college foundation, Inc.

Oosterhof, A. Conrad, R. & Ely, P. (2008). Assessing learners online. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.