The design of competency-based performance assessment in e-learning

Dominique M.A. Sluijsmans*, Frans J. Prins, Rob L. Martens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article focuses on the design of competency-based performance assessment in e-learning. Though effort has been invested in designing powerful e-learning environments, relatively little attention has been paid to the design of valid and reliable assessments in such environments, leaving many questions to educational developers and teachers. As a solution to this problem, a systematic approach to designing performance assessments in e-learning contexts is presented, partly based on the 4C/ID model. This model enables the construction of realistic whole tasks instead of advocating education that is restricted to more isolated skills. A new assessment procedure also implies an alternative view of instructional design, learning and assessment. The requirements for the learning environment are addressed. Examples from a virtual seminar are presented to illustrate the design approach. The article concludes with the identification of possible pitfalls related to the approach and gives directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-66
Number of pages22
JournalLearning Environments Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Computer-based learning
  • e-learning
  • Learning environments
  • Performance assessment


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