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Performance and Portfolio Assessment (1985-1995): An Extended Annotated Bibliography of Sources Useful for Language Teachers

John M. Norris
University of Hawai`i

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© 1996 Second Language Teaching & Curriculum Center
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Introduction

Given the appearance in recent L2 testing literature of the idea of "alternative assessment," the aim of the current work is to survey the discussion of related concepts as it has emerged in both the L2 literature and the general education literature. Although alternative assessment might generally be taken as the range of possibilities (or alternatives) in assessment, it has been most closely associated with two prominent methodologies: performance assessment and portfolio assessment. This bibliography presents a collection of extended annotations of articles related to performance and portfolio assessment that have appeared in journals and books over the past decade, from 1985 to 1995. These extended annotations may be accessed either alphabetically by author, or else by subject heading.
The bibliography, although extensive, is not 100% comprehensive due to considerable redundancy in some parts of the literature. Instead of presenting all of the related literature, an effort was made to engage in representative selection of relevant articles. Consequently, there are more articles from the general education literature than from the L2 literature by virtue of the fact that much of the discussion/debate over the benefits and drawbacks of using alternative forms of assessment has occurred in one body of literature but not in the other. For similar reasons, there are more articles addressing theory rather than development and research. Within the L2 literature, there are more articles based on English language learning contexts than on other second language contexts. However, the issues addressed in all of the sections have serious implications for the future of all levels of L2 assessment.
I call this an extended annotated bibliography because, unlike in most annotated bibliographies, a summary of the entire article is provided. These extended summaries (which cover the major ideas, issues, and findings in each article) enable the reader to generate an adequate understanding of the contribution made by each article to the alternative assessment discussion. These summaries should help readers better select those parts of the literature that they are interested in exploring more completely. Although the summaries restate and occasionally re-organize the original authors' ideas, every attempt was made to present the information from the original point of view. Therefore, I offer no additional commentary.
Finally, the current bibliography summarizes articles about alternative forms of assessment, but it does not focus on available forms or models of alternative assessment per se. This set of summaries is intended to represent a broad overview of the range of issues involved in the increasingly popular use of alternative forms of assessment.

The contents of this publication were developed in part or whole under a grant from the Department of Education (CFDA 84.229). However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and one should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.


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