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Authentic Assessments

Prepare a research-based and professional practice-based rationale that supports the use of authentic types of assessments. (By "professional practice" we mean the literature written by educators who describe how and why they use authentic assessment methods).

Please examine multiple strategies of authentic assessment, including student-centered and teacher-centered scenarios, as well as self-assessment, surveys, and portfolios.

This rationale is to clearly address each of the following:

1. What is "authentic assessment"?

2. What is a specific example of an authentic assessment that you would (or do) use in your (current or future) classroom?

3. How is authentic assessment different from traditional assessment measures?

4. What are the benefits / advantages of authentic assessments over traditional assessment measures?

Assignment Expectations

Your research and professionally-based rationale is to clearly illustrate your understanding of authentic assessments - as depicted in the background information reading.

Use a number of resources from the research and professional literature to support your claims. In particular:

You are to use a minimum of 2 articles / resources from the literature (These may include the readings provided for you on the background information page).

You are to appropriately cite and list your supporting references.

The structure of your submission is to demonstrate your ability to present and support your insights in a clear, organized, and professional manner.

Solution Preview

Authentic assessments have become popular in recent years. Authentic assessments provide multiple methods for students to demonstrate what they can and cannot do. In addition, authentic assessments are used to plan instructions and guide lesson activities. Individual have various strengths and weaknesses in how we construct knowledge. Likewise, we are different in how we demonstrate what we have understood.

The traditional assessment model, answering questions and multiple choice quizzes will not capture the true knowledge. For example, one authentic assessment I would apply in the classroom surround mathematics. Provide students with a two-digit division problem to solve. The correct first step would be to ensure the divisor can go into the dividend. If the student does not know the answer, how can the teacher know what the student does not understand without demonstrating?

The benefits of using authentic assessments, the teacher is better able to see the step-by-step manipulation process carried out by the student and make immediate corrections when needed, rather than waiting for the student to finish and possibly fail the task. This form of assessment is called scaffolding. Instructional scaffolding is a constructive teaching and learning process designed by Dr. Jerome Bruner in the late 1950's to promote a deeper level of learning. Bruner, a philosopher and constructive theorist; teaches educators to guide the student's learning through discovery and scaffolding.

Traditional test model, answering multiple-choice questions does not ...

Solution Summary


As an exemplary teacher in the Ideal School District, your classroom has become a stellar example of a constructivist-based teaching and learning environment. With a rather conservative-to-moderate view of constructivism, you provide your students with learning experiences in which they construct their understanding of particular topics through planned group activities. Generally speaking, your teaching practices reflect both a social and cognitive perspective of constructivism.

In conjunction with your teaching practices, you do not assess your students' learning via traditional, written, question and answer types of tests. Rather, you assess your students' learning through portfolios which include various types of authentic assessments.

As would be expected in the Ideal School, your methods of assessment have gone without criticism for quite some time - until now. In particular, your supervising administrator has just informed you that the parent of one of your students is quite upset that his child's semester grades will not be based on the traditional written unit exam(s). This particular parent is quite upset about your methods of assessment and wishes to meet with you and your supervising administrator to discuss this further.

While your supervising administrator supports your methods of assessment, she has agreed to this meeting. In preparation for this meeting, she has asked you to prepare a report that supports your methods of assessment - over that of the traditional written test. The findings reveal specific examples of authentic assessments that will work.
References are included.