Title: Fairness in Performance Assessment. ERIC Digest.
Author: Lam, Tony C. M.
Publication Information: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services, Greensboro, NC.; Full text in ERIC
ERIC number: ED391982
Abstract: Performance assessment is a type of educational assessment in which judgments are made about student knowledge and skills based on observation of student behavior or inspection of student products. In dealing with the issue of fairness in performance assessment, educators are confronted with some dilemmas. Assuring equality in performance assessment through standardization enables comparisons of student performance and simplifies administration processes; however, it loses task meaningfulness and creates difficulty in avoiding bias. Assuring equity effectively reduces bias and enables rich, meaningful assessment, but it introduces difficulty in administration and in comparing student performance, causes a potential side effect of poorly equipping students for the real world, and can be unfair to students with low awareness of their own abilities and quality of performance. Although standardized assessment is encouraged because it is a requirement for reliability, which is a necessary condition for validity, the hermeneutic approach to score interpretation supports contextualized and non-standardized assessment, and argues that validity can be achieved without reliability. Currently there is little research devoted to examining and promoting fairness in performance assessment. (JBJ)
Report number: EDO-CG-95-25