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Tool: Analyzing authenticity in performance tasks

In general, "authenticity" in a performance task means that, in important respects, it strongly resembles activity of proficient adults in society. It therefore could be expected to show whether students are learning what they need to know to succeed as adults in society. We learn what we practice.

Performance task:

Describe the realistic problem addressed by the task.


Describe the options offered in the task. Are they realistic?


Describe the constraints built into the task. How are they helpful?



Describe the criteria set forth for the task. Are they realistic and clearly articulated?



Have standards been set and clearly communicated?


Describe the audience. Is it realistic and feasible?


Performance tasks should have genuine purposes that are central to anyone in the field. Describe the purpose of the task.


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