Research Topic

Evaluating Performance

About this Research Topic

Human performance drives society. Whether the field be cultural, economic, educational, or medical, value is created by people learning and executing tasks to the best of their ability. Developing performance at the highest level requires a tightly controlled cycle of learning driven by expert feedback and focussed evaluation, grounded in valid metrics of success and measurable indicators of progress. However, certain performance domains, particularly those in the arts and humanities, involve highly subjective indicators of quality as well as an extremely complex matrix of motor, cognitive, social, and decision-making skills required to achieve them that can be difficult to articulate and quantify.

The inherent complexity of performance, and ambiguity in how it is evaluated, can create challenges for effective teaching, development, and execution. Potential performers often rely on centuries-old traditions of master-apprentice teaching wherein one-to-one feedback from established experts, coupled with thousands of hours spent in solitary practice and potentially high-risk early immersion in real-life performance settings. Often, performance metrics are generated that provide an overly reductive picture of the skills required for and value created by performance, often putting an excessive focus on direct economic and productivity outcomes and disregarding issues of social and cultural value as well as questions of wellbeing and sustainability. The inherent biases, both implicit and otherwise, of human cognition also obscure outcomes and undermine attempts at objectivity. To address these challenges, new knowledge is required of the underpinning cognitions, practices, and tools driving such evaluations, and the impact they have on the performers, evaluators, and organizations involved.

This Research Topic examines the science, practices, and outcomes of performance evaluation across domains. It considers underpinning approaches to, philosophies of, and perspectives on evaluation, as well as scientific models of what is being evaluated and why. It considers the skills and tools of evaluation, from the potential to train expert evaluators to identifying and honing evaluation criteria to developing and employing technology throughout the evaluation process. Crucially, it examines the manifold contexts in which evaluations take place, including professional and educational contexts as well as domains of self-assessment and learning.

Authors are invited to submit manuscripts covering the range of article types covered by the Performance Science section of Frontiers in Psychology, or the Assessment, Testing and Applied Measurement section of Frontiers in Education. This includes original research, systematic review, methods descriptions, case report, and manuscripts summarising new technology, pedagogy, and curriculum.


Keywords: performance, value, evaluation, assessment, decision-making, metrics, education, technology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Human performance drives society. Whether the field be cultural, economic, educational, or medical, value is created by people learning and executing tasks to the best of their ability. Developing performance at the highest level requires a tightly controlled cycle of learning driven by expert feedback and focussed evaluation, grounded in valid metrics of success and measurable indicators of progress. However, certain performance domains, particularly those in the arts and humanities, involve highly subjective indicators of quality as well as an extremely complex matrix of motor, cognitive, social, and decision-making skills required to achieve them that can be difficult to articulate and quantify.

The inherent complexity of performance, and ambiguity in how it is evaluated, can create challenges for effective teaching, development, and execution. Potential performers often rely on centuries-old traditions of master-apprentice teaching wherein one-to-one feedback from established experts, coupled with thousands of hours spent in solitary practice and potentially high-risk early immersion in real-life performance settings. Often, performance metrics are generated that provide an overly reductive picture of the skills required for and value created by performance, often putting an excessive focus on direct economic and productivity outcomes and disregarding issues of social and cultural value as well as questions of wellbeing and sustainability. The inherent biases, both implicit and otherwise, of human cognition also obscure outcomes and undermine attempts at objectivity. To address these challenges, new knowledge is required of the underpinning cognitions, practices, and tools driving such evaluations, and the impact they have on the performers, evaluators, and organizations involved.

This Research Topic examines the science, practices, and outcomes of performance evaluation across domains. It considers underpinning approaches to, philosophies of, and perspectives on evaluation, as well as scientific models of what is being evaluated and why. It considers the skills and tools of evaluation, from the potential to train expert evaluators to identifying and honing evaluation criteria to developing and employing technology throughout the evaluation process. Crucially, it examines the manifold contexts in which evaluations take place, including professional and educational contexts as well as domains of self-assessment and learning.

Authors are invited to submit manuscripts covering the range of article types covered by the Performance Science section of Frontiers in Psychology, or the Assessment, Testing and Applied Measurement section of Frontiers in Education. This includes original research, systematic review, methods descriptions, case report, and manuscripts summarising new technology, pedagogy, and curriculum.


Keywords: performance, value, evaluation, assessment, decision-making, metrics, education, technology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 September 2021 Abstract
30 April 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 September 2021 Abstract
30 April 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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