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ERIC Number: EJ791862
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1041-6099
Development of Quality Performance Tasks at Western Governors University
Nicastro, Gerilee; Moreton, Kyle M.
Assessment Update, v20 n1 p8-9 Jan-Feb 2008
Western Governors University (WGU) is an online competency-based university in which students demonstrate content competence through a series of assessments. Assessments most often are performance-based or objective assessments that are developed in accordance with specific content objectives. Objective assessments generally assess lower-level cognitive skills such as basic recall of knowledge, while performance-based assessments generally assess higher-level cognitive skills by asking students to apply their learning in an approximation of real-world situations. Performance-based assessments at WGU are evaluated by WGU evaluators, who are highly trained subject matter experts. Evaluations are done online, and evaluators have no direct interaction with the students whose assessments they are evaluating. To accommodate this online evaluation method, WGU has developed a unique approach to the construction of performance assessments. The key to their approach is the use of consistent terms and formatting that leads to a higher level of inter-rater reliability, helps students understand instructions, and accelerates and improves the development process. This article presents an overview of the process of assessment development and the structure of performance tasks at WGU. (Contains 1 table.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A