Performance Based Assessment in Maths: Hampton High's Disaster Relief Mission

 A screenshot from a Video Documentary of the Hampton High's Disaster Relief Mission.

In one of my articles (read it here), I highlighted the importance of sharing classroom teaching experiences. In another article, I noted about the rare culture of African educators, and specifically Tanzanian teachers in sharing their teaching practices.  This culture is common to European teachers. There is a tendency for them to document their experiences on how they organize, plan and enhance student learning.

As a means of stressing the importance of documenting our teaching practices, today I present to you another example from Mathematics Teachers in Hampton High School. To test student understanding of the trigonometry topic, teachers had to plan for a project which could allow learners to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding of Trig. The project was named Disaster Relief Mission.
But, before moving on, what the heck is this Performance Based Assessment? It is a form of hands-on-activities that allow learners to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and understanding of a particular topic by performing real world authentic tasks.

Performance based assessment can range from simple tasks such as writing an essay to complex activities such as performing on a stage and participating in a complex project. Performance based assessment stimulate development of higher order thinking skills such evaluating, synthesizing and assimilating of information in the course of solving real world problems. 

Suppose you have taught students on how to cook "Ugali". Some simple tasks can be providing students with a multiple choice questions assessing their knowledge on the procedures of cooking Ugali. An advanced task can be writing an essay about cooking Ugali. A complex one now will be performing a real task of cooking Ugali.

An example of the complex project students can perform is the Hampton High School Disaster Relief Mission where students applied their trigonometry knowledge and skills as they role-played as traffic controllers and pilots in the rescue mission. Read here in detail about the project and learn about the power of sharing as well as the relevance of performance based assessment in teaching and learning.


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