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How to Build Performance Tasks to Teach Complex Concepts

Thursday, October 24, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

How to Build Performance Tasks to Teach Complex Concepts

Presented by Christina Schneider, Ph.D., Senior Director, Psychometric Solutions, NWEA; Paul Nichols, Ph.D., Director, Assessment Design, NWEA; Kevin McCarthy, Content Lead, Science, NWEA; and Chris Rozunick, Senior Director, Assessment Solutions, NWEA

Sponsored by NWEA

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Quality performance tasks that grow in sophistication over the course of a school year can be a tool to support student growth to proficiency. Tasks that elicit authentic work or processes often require that students integrate knowledge, skills, and abilities across standards. They also support students engaging in more complex levels of thinking and learning and—most importantly—remembering what they’ve learned.

Performance tasks aren’t just for assessment anymore. Join this edWebinar to learn from NWEA research and content experts how to construct trajectory-based performance tasks to build deeper learning of complex topics throughout the year.

Viewers will:

  • Learn how more challenging performance tasks drive deeper learning gains for students
  • Understand how to structure tasks to focus on higher-order skills
  • Discover how to construct connected tasks that build on prior learning
  • See examples of well-constructed trajectory-based performance tasks for teaching scientific phenomena

This recorded edWebinar will be of interest to kindergarten through high school teachers, and school and district leaders.


Christina SchneiderAbout the Presenters

Christina Schneider leads teams dedicated to assessment design and psychometrics for large-scale, statewide summative assessments across the nation. Dr. Schneider specializes in working at the intersection of classroom, interim, and summative assessment where psychometrics, education policy, and professional learning play critical roles. She co-developed the framework for creating range achievement level descriptors for statewide summative assessments, a framework that has been implemented by 40% of states. Her publications span a range of measurement topics including assessment design, formative assessment, automated essay scoring, standard-setting, and test accommodations. She is the lead author of Using Formative Assessment to Support Student Learning Objectives, which is designed for classroom teachers. Her current research focuses on alignment methodologies for computer-adaptive assessments when the focus is on the intended score interpretations. Christina holds an M.Ed. in educational research and a Ph.D. in music education from the University of South Carolina.


Paul NicholsPaul Nichols oversees the new Nebraska science assessment and the through-year test design work. Dr. Nichols has extensive experience leading framework, development, and design work for various assessment products throughout his career. Current research projects include exploring the lens that different test users employ to evaluate the relevance of validity evidence and extending principled assessment design to address the needs of intended test users. He has authored numerous publications and reports, specializing in writing about and researching the design of assessments targeting complex thinking. Dr. Nichols holds a PhD and an MA in educational psychology from the University of Iowa.


Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthy is an assessment content specialist at NWEA with over a decade of experience. He began his career as a high school science with a passion for advanced environmental science coursework.

Chris RozunickChris Rozunick, Senior Director of Assessment Solutions, leads content development on summative and hybrid assessment projects. Chris has nearly two decades of assessment experience spanning content development, analysis, management, reporting, and interpretation while working for multiple test publishers, state departments of education, and other non-profit organizations. She began her career as a high school science teacher and has taught statistics at the post-secondary level.

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NWEANWEA is a research-based, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency—and provide insights to help tailor instruction.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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