This post is provided by guest blogger, George Skerritt, graduate student of the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Il., MS Training and Development program.
How many times is student achievement measured – with a test? Isn’t there a better way? Yes! There is! It’s called authentic assessment, which “measures not only what students have learned from course content, but also their ability to apply that knowledge
in some kind of real-world situation” (UWM, 2016), such as on-the-job. Though some careers require certification exams, more of what students learn should relate to tasks they will perform at their place of employment. Most of the time, that will not be in test format. It will be in the application of knowledge and skills obtained in educational experiences.
Authentic assessments require learners to apply what they know to a specific situation. Rubrics provide an opportunity for educators to set expectations for the assessment, much in the way a supervisor would. Example assessments include problem-based learning, role-playing, and case studies. Problem-based learning assessments require research and higher-order thinking to develop a “viable solution to a defined problem” (UWM, 2016). Role-play is practice for on-the-job interactions, and case studies require learners, individually or in a group, to research a problem and develop a solution. All of these and more allow learners to practice, thus gaining experience, for what they would do on-the-job. Who doesn’t want that?
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2016). Authentic assessments. Retrieved from