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Authentic Assessment
by Julie-Anne Heise - Thursday, 29 March 2012, 9:51 PM

I have been reading up on the latest trends in assessment lately so thought I would share this with you. Naturally this will take on a different appearance in Primary and Secondary classrooms; however I feel it is relevant to both.

"Most of the time when we think we are assessing learning, we are merely getting feedback on how well a student plays the game of school. Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that what we normally assess is superficial and irrelevant to the brain. Not only do we need yo broaden our evaluation techniques so that learners receive the benefit of a fair and authentic assessment process.
Authentic assessment reflects a commitment of moving beyond quantity of learning to quality of learning; that is, asking the tougher questions and broadening our definition of learning. Accurately assessing learners is part science part art. We are taught that the way to evaluate learning is to test students with quantifiable instruments that can be scored and defended expediently. Authentic assessment requires more than this from the teacher, and it rejects the notion that quality learning can be accurately assessed simply by observation and testing means. Authentic assessment asks why when a learner performs short of our expectations.
So what is the basis for authentic assessment?
1. Content (what learners know)
2. Emotions (how learners feel about it)
3. Context (how learners relate it to the world)
4. Processing (how learners manipulate data)
5. Embodiment (how deep the learning goes; how learners apply it)
These areas are inclusive of mind, body, and heart, as well as past, present, and future. Learners may express what they know using multiple media such as drawing, charts, lists, dialogues, actions, demonstrations, debates, or maps, etc.
Let's make what's important more measurable, rather than making what's more measurable more important."
Jensen, E., 2008. Brain-based Learning. Thousand Oaks: California, USA. Corwin Press. (pp. 229-230).