Advances in Health Sciences Education

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 517-532

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The effects of performance-based assessment criteria on student performance and self-assessment skills

  • Greet Mia Jos FastréAffiliated withOpen University of the NetherlandsMaastricht University Email author 
  • , Marcel R. van der KlinkAffiliated withOpen University of the Netherlands
  • , Jeroen J. G. van MerriënboerAffiliated withMaastricht University


This study investigated the effect of performance-based versus competence-based assessment criteria on task performance and self-assessment skills among 39 novice secondary vocational education students in the domain of nursing and care. In a performance-based assessment group students are provided with a preset list of performance-based assessment criteria, describing what students should do, for the task at hand. The performance-based group is compared to a competence-based assessment group in which students receive a preset list of competence-based assessment criteria, describing what students should be able to do. The test phase revealed that the performance-based group outperformed the competence-based group on test task performance. In addition, higher performance of the performance-based group was reached with lower reported mental effort during training, indicating a higher instructional efficiency for novice students.


Competence-based assessment criteria Mental effort Performance-based assessment criteria Self-assessment skills Task performance