Authentic Assessement

Topics: Assessment, Multiple choice, Test Pages: 9 (2827 words) Published: May 9, 2013
What Does Authentic Assessment Look Like?
How is Authentic Assessment Similar to/Different from
      Traditional Assessment?
* Traditional Assessment
* Authentic Assessment
* Authentic Assessment Complements Traditional Assessment * Defining Attributes of Authentic and Traditional Assessment * Teaching to the Test
Alternative Names for Authentic Assessment

A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills -- Jon Mueller "...Engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must use knowledge to fashion performances effectively and creatively. The tasks are either replicas of or analogous to the kinds of problems faced by adult citizens and consumers or professionals in the field." -- Grant Wiggins -- (Wiggins, 1993, p. 229). "Performance assessments call upon the examinee to demonstrate specific skills and competencies, that is, to apply the skills and knowledge they have mastered." -- Richard J. Stiggins -- (Stiggins, 1987, p. 34).  

What does Authentic Assessment look like?
An authentic assessment usually includes a task for students to perform and a rubric by which their performance on the task will be evaluated. Click the following links to see many examples of authentic tasks and rubrics. * Examples from teachers in my Authentic Assessment course  

How is Authentic Assessment similar to/different from Traditional Assessment? The following comparison is somewhat simplistic, but I hope it illuminates the different assumptions of the two approaches to assessment. Traditional Assessment

By "traditional assessment" (TA) I am referring to the forced-choice measures of multiple-choice tests, fill-in-the-blanks, true-false, matching and the like that have been and remain so common in education.  Students typically select an answer or recall information to complete the assessment. These tests may be standardized or teacher-created.  They may be administered locally or statewide, or internationally. Behind traditional and authentic assessments is a belief that the primary mission of schools is to help develop productive citizens.  That is the essence of most mission statements I have read.  From this common beginning, the two perspectives on assessment diverge.  Essentially, TA is grounded in educational philosophy that adopts the following reasoning and practice: 1. A school's mission is to develop productive citizens.

2. To be a productive citizen an individual must possess a certain body of knowledge and skills. 3. Therefore, schools must teach this body of knowledge and skills. 4. To determine if it is successful, the school must then test students to see if they acquired the knowledge and skills. In the TA model, the curriculum drives assessment.   "The" body of knowledge is determined first.  That knowledge becomes the curriculum that is delivered.  Subsequently, the assessments are developed and administered to determine if acquisition of the curriculum occurred. Authentic Assessment

In contrast, authentic assessment (AA) springs from the following reasoning and practice: 1. A school's mission is to develop productive citizens.
2. To be a productive citizen, an individual must be capable of performing meaningful tasks in the real world. 3. Therefore, schools must help students become proficient at performing the tasks they will encounter when they graduate. 4. To determine if it is successful, the school must then ask students to perform meaningful tasks that replicate real world challenges to see if students are capable of doing so. Thus, in AA, assessment drives the curriculum.  That is, teachers first determine the tasks that students will perform to demonstrate their mastery, and then a curriculum is developed that will enable students to perform those tasks well, which would include the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills. ...
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