Authentic Assessment and the Real World

This post is provided by guest blogger, Tonya Stafford, graduate student at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Il., MS in Training and Development program.

Authentic assessment uses real-world tasks to demonstrate the practical application of knowledge acquired and skills learned.  In a recent article, Kaider, Hains-Wesson, and Young (2017) discuss equipping students with skills needed for employment through

work-integrated learning and authentic assessment tools in the place of clinical rotations or internships, which may not be available in certain disciplines.  The article discusses several authentic assessment proponents’ theories and views, and a study investigating authentic assessment in a sample of university courses, concluding that all courses studied contained some level of authentic assessment aligning with learning outcomes and facilitating employability skill development.

Although this article specifically addresses university students and innovative approaches to enhance employability skills, I would recommend it for any instructional designer, teacher, or facilitator interested in providing learners with an opportunity to use higher-order thinking skills to apply in practical, real-world situations.  The discussion of common characteristics in authentic learning  and the examples of authentic learning assessment techniques in this article provide useful tools when designing a course and would be an asset to anyone who would like to explore alternatives to traditional assessments, such as standardized tests and quizzes.


Kaider, F., Hains-Wesson, R., Young, K. (2017). Practical typology of authentic work-integrated learning activities and assessments. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 18, 153-165. Retrieved from

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