In the performing arts, in particular, the performance project—staging a play, a concert, a dance performance—is a well-established form not only of summative assessment, but of structuring an entire sequence of teaching. However, other forms of practical project which involve planning, implementation and evaluation share important features with the traditional performance project. Hence a marketing campaign, an enterprise project, a charity fund-raising exercise, an exhibition, an expedition, a sports competition and so on fall into broadly the same category.
- Any relatively complex area of learning which requires planning and preparation to be translated into a practical expression, generally involving a group working together.
- Largely dictated by risk factors—take them very seriously—and cost.
- Performance projects are big events, and can easily absorb much more time than expected on the part of students and staff. They may jeopardise other concurrent work. Always consult colleagues teaching other modules to the same students in that semester, and integrate several modules under the overall project, if you can.
- Assessment criteria, as always, need to be clear. Assessment takes place all through the project, to give credit for thoroughness of planning, team management, financial control, etc., as well as the final event. It makes sense for assessment of a number of areas of study to be undertaken within the same framework.
- As ever, that calls for a clear marking scheme, and given the "sudden death" nature of the final product, probably a number of markers to provide checks and balances
- Allowance needs to be made for unforeseen factors, so that the assessment of all members of a group is not jeopardised by, for example, illness or injury to a lead performer, or bad weather.
- And it is not over even when the fat lady sings. There will be post-event activities such as winding up the financial arrangements and making good changes to rooms. They can also yield assessable material (and continuing the assessment into the follow-up may help ensure it is tackled seriously).
- Ensure that product evidence is gathered and retained wherever possible, including video-recordings etc.
- See the general remarks about group-based assessments