Home > Fractions > Assessment > Assessment approaches > Task-based interview

Task-based interview

Task-based interviews involve students explaining task solutions. They differ from other presentations of student explanations — such as written work samples or reporting to the class — because of the active role played by the teacher. The diagnostic power comes from the opportunity the teacher has to question and probe student thinking.

The teacher can:

  • identify errors or misunderstandings
  • identify strategies and reasoning
  • detect misconceptions
  • probe the depth of understanding of procedures
  • observe the use of representations or materials
  • identify strengths or the need for additional challenge
  • provide immediate, constructive and instructive feedback to the student.

Task-based explanations can take several forms, such as:

  • one-to-one interviews separate from classroom activity
  • individual chats during normal classroom activity
  • group discussions about a collaborative task.

The focus of the interview might be a collection of short tasks or a problem-solving task. They may be completed in the presence of the teacher, or be based on reflections on a previously completed task.

Ideally, interviews are videoed or at least audio recorded so they can be played back. Otherwise, running records should be jotted down immediately.

Task-based interview example

In this example of a task-based interview schedule, the teacher explores a student's understanding of thirds.