Classroom learning isn’t just restricted to scoring well on exams or getting good grades. Now, teachers adopt new and improved learning and assessment techniques to keep students engaged. One such technique is authentic assessment.
Authentic assessment is a way of assessing students’ learning that doesn’t use standardized tests or checklists. Instead, teachers use assessments to see how well students understand specific topics, but also how they can apply their understanding to different scenarios and problems.
It’s a way to assess students and give feedback that isn’t just subjective but draws on actual evidence. It places more emphasis on the process of learning, instead of just getting a passing grade. Teachers are able to give meaningful feedback to students in an engaging manner.
What Is Authentic Assessment?
Authentic assessment is a method that attempts to measure how well students can apply their knowledge in different scenarios. To achieve this, the teacher must create tasks and assignments that mimic a real-world environment.
Let’s look at some features that illustrate the meaning of authentic assessment:
It emphasizes learning and understanding concepts. This method is focused on students’ thought processes and the way they communicate what they’ve learned
It also provides a more complete approach for teachers to assess and critique students’ performances. Teachers provide a score, but they must explain why they give that score
Students aren’t put under pressure to memorize massive quantities of information and reproduce it in a timed written exam. The assessment is often related to the work itself
Here are some examples of what that might look like in real life:
Assignments that require solving problems and getting creative are often used in authentic assessment. For instance, if you’re teaching a publishing course, learners can produce a volume using self-publishing tools
Students can work on projects in the area they aim to impact. So, students of social work can organize a self-help group for women in rural areas and track their performance over a period of time
Simulations that mimic a real-life scenario can test learning. For instance, first responders might have to rescue survivors for a mock emergency to measure their effectiveness under pressure
From these examples, it’s clear that authentic assessment can be a part of any progressive learning environment.
Why Is Authentic Assessment Important?
Critics of authentic assessment argue that there’s no way to standardize these more qualitative tests. It may be tougher for teachers to be objective about their students’ work when they’re placing an emphasis on the process.
However, the true meaning of authentic assessment allows teachers to create a space where students feel more comfortable to share their knowledge and engage with other students.
Teachers and students can get more results from authentic assessment than traditional standardized testing because it emphasizes the actual process of learning instead of just checking off material students learned from textbooks. It ensures learners have absorbed the information and can use it as needed.
Authentic Assessment In Continuous Learning
Experts working in continuous learning and online education often emphasize the importance of authentic assessment to make the learning process richer and more engaging. It’s an efficient way to check if students understand not only basic concepts but also how they can apply them in different situations and scenarios.
This method provides an environment where students can share their ideas and understanding with others. Authentic assessment allows students to find a place in the class with more meaning and less pressure from teachers.
Examples Of Authentic Assessment
Authentic assessment can help employees improve their performance, gain confidence and learn more skills. Let’s tackle a few more examples of authentic assessment in the professional sphere.
In medicine, authentic assessment provides students with deeper learning. Students can find out more about clinical rotations and do assessments that’ll give them a better understanding of what they’re going to do in real-life scenarios.
Law professors can create scenarios where students must use their law knowledge and apply it to different and challenging situations, such as a mock trial.
Continuing education for employees often involves role-playing or project work. For instance, if your marketing team is working on its communication skills, they can stage presentations and pitches to show their progress.
By recreating a practical setting, students need to respond in real-time with real stressors. This kind of assessment has actual value beyond book knowledge.
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