Importance of Authentic Assessment in Education

John Frederikson and Alan Collins, two nationally recognized assessment experts remind us that assessment should not simply monitor achievement or report scores. Assessment should lead to instructional action. Policy makers, administrators, and teachers recognize the importance of meaningful, useful assessment and they are working together to create new approaches.

The purpose of Standard Assessment is to obtain information that could easily be reported to the public, school boards, administrators and parents in a statistical manner. Obviously, such assessment has limited potential to influence teaching and learning in a positive manner. Students are strictly objects that are trained to take tests rather than active participants in constructive learning.

Authentic Assessment promotes portfolios of learning and allows the teacher to see the progress of the student in a visual manner. The past ten years have witnessed a revolution in assessment in this area. As a result, the definition of assessment has been expanded. Assessment acknowledges many different purposes and audiences. For example: assessments are used to: qualify students for special services; report to school boards, states and parents; evaluate program effectiveness; monitor student learning and adjust teaching strategies; evaluate student growth over time; engage students in self-evaluation; and understand students' strengths and needs. Each of these different purposes and audiences may require different kinds of assessment and types of information.

The importance of classroom-based assessment has been recognized. Classroom-based assessment influences instructional decisions and it engages children in the evaluation of their own work. The process is directed toward the student and teaching styles. The process is monitored more frequently than when the students are given formal norm-referenced testing. When assessment and instruction are melded, both teachers and students become learners. Teachers focus on what and how to teach while students are more self-directed, motivated and focused on learning. Classroom assessment puts the teachers and students in-charge. Consequently, it is our responsibility as educators to understand the elements of good classroom-based Authentic Assessment.

Authentic Assessment teaches real world activities to the students. The student's imagination is stretched and solidification or meaning is shown within the portfolio assessment. The aim of the portfolio is to assess many different kinds of literacy abilities in the visual context. Cross-curricular and multicultural activities should be used to help enhance the student's awareness of the world.

Students working with authentic tasks engage in common life activities and learning subject matter in a new light. The teacher will feel like they are concentrating on worthwhile visual skills and strategies. The students will learn how to apply visual knowledge and skills for authentic purposes. Authentic Assessment will provide the opportunity for students to spend more time learning essential skills necessary for survival in society today.

References:

What is Authentic Assessment?
Teacher Vision: Authentic Assessment Overview
Funderstanding: Authentic Assessment

Published by Kim Blakesley

The passions in my life include education, the arts, home remodeling, woodworking and travel. Due to my eclectic plethora of interests, writing and photography have become two extraordinary outlets of expres...  View profile

  • Authentic Assessment promotes portfolios of learning and allows the teacher to see the progress ...
  • Authentic Assessment teaches real world activities to the students.
  • Students working with authentic tasks engage in common life activities and learning subject matter..
Policy makers, administrators, and teachers recognize the importance of meaningful, useful assessment and they are working together to create new approaches.