Authentic Assessment


Simply testing an isolated skill or a retained fact does not effectively measure a student’s capabilities. To accurately evaluate what a person has learned, an assessment method must examine his or her collective abilities.This is what is meant by authentic assessment. Authentic assessment presents students with real-world challenges that require 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 options

Elicits higher order thinking in addition to basic skills

Directly evaluates holistic projects

Synthesizes with classroom instruction

Uses samples of student work (portfolios) collected over an extended time period

Stems from clear criteria made known to students

Allows for the possibility of multiple human judgments

Relates more closely to classroom learning

Teaches students to evaluate their own work

“Fairness” does not exist when assessment is uniform, standardized, impersonal, and absolute. 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 abilities and function at the relevant level of difficulty; and when it promotes a rapport between examiner 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 demonstrate their knowledge, skills, or competencies in whatever way they find appropriate.

There are several challenges to using authentic assessment methods. They include managing its time-intensive nature, ensuring curricular validity, and minimizing evaluator bias.

Recommended Reading

Fourth Generation Evaluation, by Egon G. Guba and Yvonna S. Lincoln. Newberry Park, CA: Sage Publications.


About the author -

On Purpose Associates

18 Responses to Authentic Assessment

  1. Rowel R. Caiña says:

    Im a College student here in Lourdes College.. Philippines,Cagayan de Oro City…I would like to ask further more about Authentic Assessment…
    Does doing an Anuthentic Assessment would really mean to assess the learning of the learners/students?
    need your response…thanks….and add me in my yahoo account…..

  2. admin says:

    To fully answer your question, I’d have to know more about the situation you are looking to assess. Authentic assessment is an approach to assessment based on getting a real-world demonstration of learning. Let’s say you were teaching math. Someone who wants to practice authentic assessment would not assess through a multiple choice test. Instead, the assessment would require the student to demonstrate proficiency through his or her ability to make change at a school store, for example.

  3. jhea.. says:

    We, teachers must learn how to use authentic assessment for a better holistic formation of each individual, our students. This includes group activities/cooperative learning,thought-provoking games,and it is based more on the performance of the students.
    Let’s leave the traditional way and be adaptable from these changes happenin’ in our society. Let’s accept the fact that we should teach our students accrdng. to their interest, ability and skills and not only insisting what “I” want to teach…
    This will surely be an effective way of teaching-learning process just be creative.

  4. mary gold says:

    – this is great..!=D this article is nice! It gives me an idea or should i say it informed me about what authentic assessment is.. 😉

    – thank you for sharing..!

  5. REX ROBERTS says:

    I can’t think of a situation where I would administer a norm-referenced test. Every student’s thought process and effort is his own and should not be judged against another’s.

  6. Joey Hermosa says:

    Thanks for sharing your ideas about the authentic assessment. Its very helpful to us who studying for the teaching profession. We are lucky to read articles like this.

  7. Melinda says:

    I am intrigued by your website; however, there is a bar that appears across the page that covers important text and I cannot find a way to remove it? Is this intended?

  8. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be really something which I think I would by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I’m taking a look ahead to your next submit, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

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