1 | Assessment and Authentic Learning Banner Image

1 | Assessment and Authentic Learning

Traditionally, classroom assessments provide educators with a glimpse into what students have learned at one moment in time—whether at the end of the year, midway through a project, or even before beginning a unit. However, specific assessment tasks can do more than provide an isolate snapshot of a student’s current ability or knowledge. When well-designed, they can solidify and build deeper learning. Through personal reflection, analysis of examples, and self-evaluation of current assessment practices, in this session participants will develop an understanding of how authentic assessments can promote enduring learning.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will..

  • Build knowledge about the kinds of assessments that are truly meaningful to students and promote enduring learning

  • Reflect on how authentic assessment design can impact student learning

Session Overview

TOTAL TIME: 50 min

15 min | Reflect and discuss

15 min | Introduce research on authentic assessments

15 min | Analyze an assessment

5 min | Decide on path forward

Suggested Uses

This session is designed to be used in conjunction with accompanying sessions in the Assessment series, but also connects to other recommended sessions in the Toolkit. Strong assessment depends on high, clear expectations for students. If your school has not already clarified these expectations, then the sessions on Mastery-Based Learning and Rubrics (COMING SOON!) may be helpful precursors to define and clarify what is expected of students. Assessment also connects closely with the series of sessions on Student-Centered Feedback, as the two-way learning between teacher and students volleys between introduction of skills and strategies, assessments that provide an engaging method of using those skills and strategies, and feedback to the student on performance on those assessments.



Explore Further

Explore examples of cross-disciplinary authentic assessments that involve developing and assessing critical reasoning on topics relevant to students’ lives (especially as they become more savvy internet users). From Civic Online Reasoning (COR), Stanford History Education Group, Stanford University.

Use this rubric to reflect on how you plan and assess project-based learning. From PBL Works, Buck Institute for Education.

Explore this bank of performance tasks and rubrics that measure students’ writing, civic engagement, and critical literacy skills. From Teaching Tolerance.