We will develop programme-level assessment design that gives students diverse but manageable assessment, and allows staff to give incisive feedback for learning. We will promote assessment methods which allow students to preserve legacies of their work, visible to employers and external stakeholders, and which develop digital capabilities.
Authentic Assessment is a contested term which can encompass a broad range of activities, ranging from the vocational and applied, through to assessments that engage learners in different ways, those that innovate and those designed to assess knowledge rather than proficiency in completing tests. The approach may be programme level or, applied to smaller formative or summative exercises. The Authentic Assessment theme of the CDF brings together a range of exemplars and frameworks to showcase, inspire and act as a stimulus for development of assessment authenticity through the design process.
An initial question to ask, whether considering a programme level assessment strategy or individual assessment is likely to be: to what extent and at which points is your assessment approach purposively designed as an ‘assessment of learning’ (summative) or ‘assessment for learning’ (formative).
Explore the case studies, resources and reflective prompts collected here to help you embed inclusive learning in your own curriculum design, or contribute your own case studies of innovative practice to the CDF.
Case studies: authentic assessment
These case studies from Keele demonstrate good practice in embedding authentic assessment in the curriculum
Enhancing knowledge and digital skills for implementing evidence-based practice
Developing the Scientific Reporting Skills of Chemistry Students through Dialogic Assessment-Feedback Cycles
Student-generated video creation for the assessment of communication skills
A Themed Edition of a Biotechnology E-Journal as the Assessment for a Level 6 Case Studies Module
Authentic Assessment in Foundation Year Computer Science
Combining Blended Learning with Role Play in an Online Simulation of the Bletchley Park Enigma Codebreakers in WWII
Resources: authentic assessment
- start with a ‘brief’
- what a future employer would consider valid and significant
- emphasize realistic complexity ambiguous, ill-structured tasks or problems.
- 'problems or issues’ from your own practice, or from case studies.
- collaboration that is similar to that experienced by practitioners in the field
- simulations of role-play or scenarios;
- use resources taken specifically from real-world examples
- offer a range of assessment tasks of how well the student thinks like a practitioner/expert i.e. moving through the threshold portal
- holistic projects
- students work and/or reflections collected over time
- possibilities of different judgements
Consider the following questions to identify possible starting points for further development of authentic assessment in your programme or module:
- What is the purpose of your assessment and is it fit for this purpose?
- Do you use a range of assessment methods in your programme?
- To what extent is your assessment: a) Relevant? (in that it is relevant to the content and application of learning) b) Authentic? (Uses students real world understanding) c) Contemporary? (Aligned to contemporary education models and assessment approaches)
- How do you encourage student-centred or student-led assessment?
- How does your course or module design foster assessment literacy? What do you do to ensure a consistent understanding of assessment criteria and encourage discussion to develop shared understanding?
- How does your assessment test knowledge and skills? How and to what extend do you use assessment feedback to develop student learning?
- How does your assessment drive engagement and sustain motivation?
- How do you use assessment outcomes and experiences to review your academic performance/the performance of your programme?
- What has been the impact of employing alternative assessments (e.g. in Covid)?