Saturday, 12 July 2014

Authentic Assessment

Definitions: Wiggins, Archibald and Newman are considered to be the creators of the concept 'authentic assessment' both of whom proposed definitions that suggested assessments that posed cognitively challenging and "personally meaningful problems or tasks" (Frey et al. 2012, p13)

Paris and Ayres differ from Wiggins by  describing authentic assessment in terms of being  formative. (Frey et al 2012, p10) it…
1.Supports classroom instruction,
2.collects evidence from multiple activities,
3.promotes learning and teaching among participants, 
4.reflects local values, standards and controls.

‘Authentic’ assessment tasks encourage students to apply relevant disciplinary knowledge in a familiar context, develop and enhance their generic skills, and generate workplace specific knowledge.(McMullen et al. 2005)

Authentic assessments set meaningful and engaging tasks, in a rich context, where the learner applies knowledge and skills, and performs the task in a new situation. Authentic tasks help students rehearse for the complex ambiguities of adult and professional life. ……
Assessment is a process of gathering evidence of what a student can do,   and provides feedback on a student' s learning to encourage further development. (Aitken and Pungur)

Palm (Frey et al., 2008, p ) concludes that authenticity is defined as assessment that is real in terms of processes and products, assessment conditions or the presented context, and true to life beyond school, curriculum and classroom practice or learning and instruction. 

Frey et al. (2012, p14) conclude that Authentic Assessments.....

“involves the student deeply, both in terms of cognitive complexity and intrinsic interest, and are meant to develop or evaluate skills and abilities that have value beyond the assessment itself.”

My definition:
Authentic Assessment for adult learners.....
Tracking a learner's progress, identifying successes and areas for development through ongoing self-reflection, along with  review and feedback from peers and facilitator/tutor in relation to the learner's practical application of their learning.


Aitken, N. and Pungur, L. (date unknown) Authentic Assessment [Online] Available from: (Accessed 7th July, 2014)

Frey, B.B.,  Schmitt, V.L., Allen, J.P. (2012) Defining Authentic Classroom Assessment, Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, Vol 17, No,2 Jan. [Online] Available from: (accessed 7th July 2014)

McMullen, C.  Braithwaite, B.  (2005) ‘Authentic’ Assessment: Workplace Based Formal Learning Setting The Stage For Ongoing Informal Learning

ANZMAC Conference: Marketing Education, Charles Sturt University
(available from: accessed 11 July 2014

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