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What is Authentic Assessment

What is Authentic Assessment

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Published by Pink Flower

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Published by: Pink Flower on Apr 18, 2011
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What is Authentic Assessment?
* Definitions
A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks thatdemonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills -- Jon Mueller "...Engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must useknowledge to fashion performances effectively and creatively. The tasks are either replicas of or analogous to the kinds of problems faced by adult citizens and consumersor professionals in the field." -- Grant Wiggins -- (Wiggins, 1993, p. 229)."Performance assessments call upon the examinee to demonstrate specific skills andcompetencies, that is, to apply the skills and knowledge they have mastered." -- RichardJ. Stiggins -- (Stiggins, 1987, p. 34
).*Simply testing an isolated skill or a retained fact does not effectively measure astudent’s capabilities. To accurately evaluate what a person has learned, an assessmentmethod must examine his or her collective abilities.This is what is meant by authenticassessment. Authentic assessment presents students with real-world challenges thatrequire them to apply their relevant skills and knowledge.
Basic Elements
Authentic assessment accomplishes each of the following goals:Requires students to develop responses rather than select from predetermined optionsElicits higher order thinking in addition to basic skillsDirectly evaluates holistic projectsSynthesizes with classroom instructionUses samples of student work (portfolios) collected over an extended time periodStems from clear criteria made known to studentsAllows for the possibility of multiple human judgmentsRelates more closely to classroom learningTeaches students to evaluate their own work “Fairness” does
exist when assessment is uniform, standardized, impersonal, andabsolute. Rather, it exists when assessment is appropriate–in other words, when it’s personalized, natural, and flexible; when it can be modified to pinpoint specific abilitiesand function at the relevant level of difficulty; and when it promotes a rapport betweenexaminer and student.Authentic assessment is designed to be criterion-referenced rather than norm-referenced.Such evaluation identifies strengths and weaknesses, but does not compare or rank students.Authentic assessment is often based on performance: Students are asked to demonstratetheir knowledge, skills, or competencies in whatever way they find appropriate.There are several challenges to using authentic assessment methods. They includemanaging its time-intensive nature, ensuring curricular validity, and minimizingevaluator bias.What does Authentic Assessment look like?
An authentic assessment usually includes a task for students to perform and a rubric bywhich their performance on the task will be evaluated. Click the following links to seemany examples of authentic tasks and rubrics.
Examplesfrom teachers in my Authentic Assessment course 
How is Authentic Assessment similar to/different from TraditionalAssessment?
The following comparison is somewhat simplistic, but I hope it illuminates the differentassumptions 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 beenand remain so common in education. Students typically select an answer or recallinformation 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 missionstatements I have read. From this common beginning, the two perspectives onassessment diverge. Essentially, TA is grounded in educational philosophy that adoptsthe 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 andskills.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 theyacquired the knowledge and skills.In the TA model, the curriculum drives assessment. "The" body of knowledge isdetermined first. That knowledge becomes the curriculum that is delivered.Subsequently, the assessments are developed and administered to determine if acquisitionof 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

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