New Interactive Guide From Pearson Research & Innovation Network Provides Insight Into Performance Assessments

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Framework Offers Overview of Assessments and How They Support Student Learning

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To support states and school districts in their efforts to ensure all students graduate prepared for success in college and careers, Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network today launched an online, interactive guide to strategies for leveraging performance assessments to measure 21st Century higher-order skills such as critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving.

“Assessments for a Changing Education Landscape” provides educators, policymakers, students and parents with an overview of different types of assessments and the ways that they can be used to support student learning. The guide offers policymakers a comprehensive understanding of performance assessment as well as the trade-offs in efficiency and complexity of the various approaches. Classroom teachers can explore the guide to discover different ways to design engaging and informative performance assessments. Students and parents can consult the guide to learn about how the various types of performance assessments support learning.

“As states and school districts implement today’s more rigorous learning goals, the emphasis has moved from asking students to simply show content knowledge to demonstrating how they can apply that knowledge using higher-order thinking skills,” said Dr. Steve Ferrara, co-director of the Research & Innovation Network’s Center for NextGen Learning & Assessment, which developed the performance assessment framework. “Through our interactive framework, education stakeholders can explore the various types of assessment approaches that can achieve this goal and help to ensure that students graduate prepared for success in our 21st Century global economy.”

As described in the guide, contemporary performance assessment approaches go beyond the traditional multiple-choice tests of the past. They include interactive items, essay prompts, performance tasks, demonstrations, projects, portfolios, and simulated activities. For example, games or digital simulations place students in richly simulated environments and present them with complex problems that allow them to demonstrate their critical thinking and creativity skills.

“Assessments for a Changing Education Landscape” is available at:

About Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network
To help address the most pressing questions facing teachers and students, Pearson brought together top education experts in the Research & Innovation Network with the mission to research and invent capabilities and tools educators need to create engaging, meaningful, and personalized learning that leads to student success. The Research & Innovation Network is led by Dr. Kimberly O’Malley, Senior Vice President of Research and Development, and supports five centers: the Center for Digital Data, Analytics & Adaptive Learning; the Center for College & Career Success; the Center for NextGen Learning & Assessment; the Center for Online Learning; and the Center for Educator Effectiveness. For more information about the Pearson’s Research & Innovation Network, visit:

About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, providing educational materials and services and business information through the Financial Times Group. Pearson serves learners of all ages around the globe, employing 41,000 people in more than 70 countries. For more information about Pearson,

Susan Aspey, susan.aspey(at)pearson(dot)com

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