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Authentic Assessments

Introduction: The purpose of this lesson is to introduce you to the aspects of authentic performance assessments. Authentic assessments should be a piece in the assessment “portfolio” that you create for your students. More traditional forms of assessment and formative assessments are also an important part of the assessment “portfolio.”  The case for including authentic assessments in the mix of assessments that you design for your students is a compelling one that aligns with the Understanding by Design framework that we have talked about in other sessions.


Learning Objectives: After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Articulate the similarities and differences between performance assessments and authentic assessments.

  • Identify the distinguishing features of an authentic assessment.


Getting Started (Approximately 10 minutes)

  • Define what authenticity means to you in the context of assessments. Post your initial definition on the discussion board - Authenticity Definitions

  • Read several of the posts from colleagues on the Authenticity Definitions board and respond to at least one of the definitions with a question for the author. Good questions are ones that prompt the author to think more deeply or broadly about their definition. Refrain from responding with commentary, stick to posing thoughtful questions. “Have you considered….?” is a good way to start your question.


Authenticity Activity (Approximately 20 minutes)

  • Download the following note-taking sheet or create a handwritten version of the table below to use in the Authenticity Activity.

  • Open the following presentation and click through the first 8 slides (you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard) and fill in the What would make it more authentic? and the What would make it less authentic? columns on your table. Link to presentation

  • Continue to the 9th slide and add the indicated column to your table. Fill in this column for each of the examples.

  • Complete the reflection and discussion board posts from the 10th slide.

Introductory Foundational Readings (Approximately 30 minutes)

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