Sample Cases from Dublin Institute of Technology

See some samples cases for this assessment method in the table below or browse the full set of cases in the assessment toolkit.

Assessment MethodLecturerAssociated Programme(s)NFQ LevelYear
Facilitated self-assessment and peer-assessment of performance Mary Lennon Bachelor of Music Level 8 Years 1-2

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Performance could be described as the ultimate goal of any musician or actor’s learning experiences. It is characterised by its unique and ephemeral qualities which react with the student’s creative energies and processes. It is a vital tool in the assessment of music and drama/theatre education and an important component in professional training

When to Use

Performance as an assessment tool can be used at any age or level of learning in a variety of situations incluing solo and group perforamnces. It is also measurable at any stage during the learning process. For the purposes of examination, it is normally examined in a culminating performance but the process of preparation can also be measured.

When NOT to Use

Not suitable for inexperienced students


  • Replicates the ‘live’ performance situation
  • Prepares students for live recital/concert/theatre work
  • Supports individualised learning
  • Maximises on performer relationship with audience
  • Public showcasing of talent
  • Encourages the student to take responsibility for their own creative output


  • ‘live’ element means that there is only one chance
  • burden of resonibility of ‘getting it right on the night’ with no chance of repeating the performance
  • effect of nerves on the performance
  • requires long periods of examination time plus rehearsal time and therefore unlike written examinations etc
  • requires unrestricted access to appropriate performance spaces


Familiarity with the perforamce situation is essential. Rehearsal is vital therefore much emphasis has to be placed on careful preparation and troubleshooting. The ‘immediacy of the performance is central to all aspects of preparation.


Access to appropriaie facilities which replicate the professional environment (instruments, venue, acoustics, etc.)


  • Performance does not have to be assesed in front of an audience
  • Multiple opportunities for continuous and summative assessmnet
  • Powerful tool for developing peer assessment

Additional Information/References

External Resources

Additional Reading

  • Hunter, D (2004) ‘How Am I Doing? Valuing and Rewarding Learning in Musical Performance in Higher Education’ (Universit of Ulster)
  • Blom, D & Poole, K (2004) ‘Peer assessment of tertiary music performance: opportunities for understanding performance assessment and performing through experience and self-reflection’ British Journal of Music Education, 21 (1) 111-125.
  • Cantwell, R.H. & Jeanneret, N. (2004) ‘Developing a Framework for the assessment of musical learning: resolving the dilemma of the ‘parts’ and the ‘whole’’, Research Studies in Music Education, 22, 2-13.
  • Daniel, R. (2001) ‘Self-assessment in performance’, British Journal of Music Education, 18 (3), 215-226.
  • Daniel, R. (2004) ‘Peer assessment in musical performance: the development, trial and evaluation of a methodology for the Australian tertiary environment’, British Journal of Music Education, 21(1) 89-110.
  • Hunter, D. & Russ, M. (1996) ‘Peer assessment in performance studies’, British Journal of Music Education, 13, 67-68.
  • Hunter, D. (1999) ‘Developing peer-learning programmes in music’, British Journal of Music Education, 16 (1) 51-63.
  • Johnson, P. (1997) ‘Performance as experience: the problem of assessment criteria’, British Journal of Music Education 14 (3) 271-283.
  • McPherson, G. E. & Thompson, W.F. (1998) ‘Assessing music performance: issues and influences’, Research Studies in Music Education, 10, 12-24.
  • Stanley, M., Brooker, R. & Gilbert, R. (2001) ‘Examiner perceptions of using criteria in music performance assessment’, Research Studies in Music Education, 18, 46-56.

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