Conceptualizing authentic assessment
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Conceptualizing Authentic Assessment. Eboni Thomas EDUC 6322. Questions to consider. What is authentic assessment? Is it more important that learning be authentic or assessment be authentic? Are they equally important?

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Conceptualizing Authentic Assessment

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Conceptualizing Authentic Assessment

Eboni Thomas

EDUC 6322


Questions to consider

  • What is authentic assessment?

  • Is it more important that learning be authentic or assessment be authentic? Are they equally important?

  • What can we do (if anything) to bridge the gap between the different definitions? What will this look like in our classrooms?


Overview of article

  • “New approaches to assessment have been identified as one of the major issues of the decade” (Cumming and Maxwell).

  • Two major theoretical considerations have been raised due to the changing focus

    • Validity of assessment

    • Learning and assessment of learning being in their proper contexts and meaningful for students


If authenticity is good, what seems to be the problem?

  • People interpret authentic assessment differently, thus there is confusion about the theory and the practice


When did it all begin?

  • Authentic achievement by Archbald and Newman in 1988

  • In 1992, it was expanded to “identify authentic achievement as having several characteristics that emulate the ‘kinds of mastery demonstrated by successful adults’


What was it supposed to look like?

  • Production vs. reproduction

  • Discipline inquiry that required

    • Prior knowledge

    • In-depth understanding

    • Integration of information (transfer)

  • Personal value


From achievement to assessment

  • Wiggins in 1989

  • Assessing authentic achievement


Interdependence

  • Learning Goals

    Learning and achievement

    Assessment procedures

Teaching Processes


Theories and authenticity

  • Performance and performance assessment

  • Situated learning and situated assessment

  • Complexity of expertise and problem-based assessment

  • Competence and competence-based assessment


Theories and authenticity

  • Performance

    • Holistic

    • Integrated

    • Goes beyond observation to make inferences of basic knowledge, skills, and processes

    • Not feasible to do on diverse range of activities

  • Situated

    • Happens best or only when in context

    • Lack of transfer depending on thinking about complete contextual dependence


Theories and authenticity

  • Complexity

    • Expert performance (engineers)

    • Higher order thinking

    • Disciplined inquiry to solve problems

    • How can we use this in school?

  • Competence

    • Satisfactory performance (in parts, or whole)

    • Should reflect skills of workplace

    • Demonstrated achievement tasks could be authentic


Other Issues

  • Camouflage – making problems appear to be “real world” when they are still contrived experiences

    • This can lead to students misunderstanding what is important and thus not meeting the teachers expectations


Other Issues

  • Simulation of the ‘real world’

    • Appear to offer ‘life like’ assessments, but since they are not actual experiences in the ‘real world’, students behave and thus perform differently (usually better)


Implications

  • Keep the learner in mind and make sure they are motivated by understanding the purpose and what this has to do with them

  • Instead of using simulation, use construct-centered authenticity to replicate challenges and standards that will represent what they students know and understand


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