Deutsche Version

New Techniques for Evaluating Performance

Grades of a student sneakily take away the dignity of his/her performance.
Rupert Vierlinger

Separating the learning and examination conditions

Often the daily teaching schedule looks like:
Everything that the students express or do not express can be used against them. Grades are used as means to pressurise and discipline them. Fellow students, who actively participate in class, submit smart and correct assignments are considered to be hard-workers. The teaching is characterised by permanent competition. Separating the learning and examination conditions is a suitable step towards working with each other rather than competing against each other. The following points show that both the conditions have very different objectives (according to Baptist/Ulm, see below):

Learning conditions

Examination conditions

Learning something new

Avoiding mistakes

Narrowing knowledge gaps

Not revealing the lack of knowledge

Understanding unclear concepts better

Positive self-projection

Discovering the associations

Concentrating on achieving maximum success

Fellow students are partners

In principle, fellow students are competitors

Changing the examination questions

The objective of learning in school is to develop competencies. The teacher must be able to draw conclusions about the skills acquired from the student’s performance.
Which examinations questions are suitable for this?
Büchter/Leuders (see below) mention some techniques for developing suitable tasks:

  • Initiating the tasks to enable individual methods
  • Implicitly encouraging or explicitly urging a student to come up with his / her own calculations, drawings or reasons
  • Demanding reflections like describing, explaining or giving reasons for a selected process.

You will also find a series of sample tasks in Büchter and Leuders, e.g.:

Your friend proposes a game of dice:
Both of you play with two dice. Player A wins, if the sum totals are 6, 7, 8 or 9. Player B wins, if it is any other number.
Would you like to be player A or player B?
Explain your decision.

Measuring the progress of competencies

How can the progress of competencies be measured?
Click here to


  1. P. Baptist, V. Ulm, Anregungen zu individuellen Lernwegen in MU Der Mathematikunterricht 51, Issue 2/3 June 2005, Friedrich Verlag [Encouraging individual learning methods in MU, the mathematics class]
  2. A. Büchter, T. Leuders, "Mathematikaufgaben selbst entwickeln, Lernen fördern - Leistung überprüfen," Cornelsen Scriptor 2005 [“Developing mathematical tasks independently, encouraging learning, examining performance"]