Authentic Assessment

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Offline Md. Mostafa Rashel

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Authentic Assessment
« on: June 11, 2012, 06:53:56 PM »
What is Authentic Assessment?


A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills -- Jon Mueller

"...Engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must use knowledge to fashion performances effectively and creatively. The tasks are either replicas of or analogous to the kinds of problems faced by adult citizens and consumers or professionals in the field." -- Grant Wiggins -- (Wiggins, 1993, p. 229).

"Performance assessments call upon the examinee to demonstrate specific skills and competencies, that is, to apply the skills and knowledge they have mastered." -- Richard J. Stiggins -- (Stiggins, 1987, p. 34).

 
What does Authentic Assessment look like?

An authentic assessment usually includes a task for students to perform and a rubric by which their performance on the task will be evaluated. Click the following links to see many examples of authentic tasks and rubrics.

 

Dr. Mueller


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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 07:00:21 PM »
How is Authentic Assessment similar to/different from Traditional Assessment?

The following comparison is somewhat simplistic, but I hope it illuminates the different assumptions of the two approaches to assessment.
Traditional Assessment

By "traditional assessment" (TA) I am referring to the forced-choice measures of multiple-choice tests, fill-in-the-blanks, true-false, matching and the like that have been and remain so common in education.  Students typically select an answer or recall information to complete the assessment. These tests may be standardized or teacher-created.  They may be administered locally or statewide, or internationally.

Behind traditional and authentic assessments is a belief that the primary mission of schools is to help develop productive citizens.  That is the essence of most mission statements I have read.  From this common beginning, the two perspectives on assessment diverge.  Essentially, TA is grounded in educational philosophy that adopts the following reasoning and practice:
1. A school's mission is to develop productive citizens.
2. To be a productive citizen an individual must possess a certain body of knowledge and skills.
3. Therefore, schools must teach this body of knowledge and skills.
4. To determine if it is successful, the school must then test students to see if they acquired the knowledge and skills.

In the TA model, the curriculum drives assessment.   "The" body of knowledge is determined first.  That knowledge becomes the curriculum that is delivered.  Subsequently, the assessments are developed and administered to determine if acquisition of the curriculum occurred.
Authentic Assessment

In contrast, authentic assessment (AA) springs from the following reasoning and practice:
1. A school's mission is to develop productive citizens.
2. To be a productive citizen, an individual must be capable of performing meaningful tasks in the real world.
3. Therefore, schools must help students become proficient at performing the tasks they will encounter when they graduate.
4. To determine if it is successful, the school must then ask students to perform meaningful tasks that replicate real world challenges to see if students are capable of doing so.

Thus, in AA, assessment drives the curriculum.  That is, teachers first determine the tasks that students will perform to demonstrate their mastery, and then a curriculum is developed that will enable students to perform those tasks well, which would include the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills.  This has been referred to as planning backwards (e.g., McDonald, 1992).
If I were a golf instructor and I taught the skills required to perform well, I would not assess my students' performance by giving them a multiple choice test.  I would put them out on the golf course and ask them to perform.  Although this is obvious with athletic skills, it is also true for academic subjects.  We can teach students how to do math, do history and do science, not just know them.  Then, to assess what our students had learned, we can ask students to perform tasks that "replicate the challenges" faced by those using mathematics, doing history or conducting scientific investigation.

Authentic Assessment Complements Traditional Assessment
But a teacher does not have to choose between AA and TA. It is likely that some mix of the two will best meet your needs. To use a silly example, if I had to choose a chauffeur from between someone who passed the driving portion of the driver's license test but failed the written portion or someone who failed the driving portion and passed the written portion, I would choose the driver who most directly demonstrated the ability to drive, that is, the one who passed the driving portion of the test. However, I would prefer a driver who passed both portions. I would feel more comfortable knowing that my chauffeur had a good knowledge base about driving (which might best be assessed in a traditional manner) and was able to apply that knowledge in a real context (which could be demonstrated through an authentic assessment).

Defining Attributes of Traditional and Authentic Assessment
Another way that AA is commonly distinguished from TA is in terms of its defining attributes. Of course, TA's as well as AA's vary considerably in the forms they take. But, typically, along the continuums of attributes listed below, TA's fall more towards the left end of each continuum and AA's fall more towards the right end.
 
Traditional --------------------------------------------- Authentic
Selecting a Response ------------------------------------ Performing a Task
Contrived --------------------------------------------------------------- Real-life
Recall/Recognition ------------------------------- Construction/Application
Teacher-structured ------------------------------------- Student-structured
Indirect Evidence -------------------------------------------- Direct Evidence

Let me clarify the attributes by elaborating on each in the context of traditional and authentic assessments:
Selecting a Response to Performing a Task: On traditional assessments, students are typically given several choices (e.g., a,b,c or d; true or false; which of these match with those) and asked to select the right answer. In contrast, authentic assessments ask students to demonstrate understanding by performing a more complex task usually representative of more meaningful application.
Contrived to Real-life: It is not very often in life outside of school that we are asked to select from four alternatives to indicate our proficiency at something. Tests offer these contrived means of assessment to increase the number of times you can be asked to demonstrate proficiency in a short period of time. More commonly in life, as in authentic assessments, we are asked to demonstrate proficiency by doing something.

Recall/Recognition of Knowledge to Construction/Application of Knowledge:
Well-designed traditional assessments (i.e., tests and quizzes) can effectively determine whether or not students have acquired a body of knowledge. Thus, as mentioned above, tests can serve as a nice complement to authentic assessments in a teacher's assessment portfolio. Furthermore, we are often asked to recall or recognize facts and ideas and propositions in life, so tests are somewhat authentic in that sense. However, the demonstration of recall and recognition on tests is typically much less revealing about what we really know and can do than when we are asked to construct a product or performance out of facts, ideas and propositions. Authentic assessments often ask students to analyze synthesize and apply what they have learned in a substantial manner, and students create new meaning in the process as well.

Teacher-structured to Student-structured: When completing a traditional assessment, what a student can and will demonstrate has been carefully structured by the person(s) who developed the test. A student's attention will understandably be focused on and limited to what is on the test. In contrast, authentic assessments allow more student choice and construction in determining what is presented as evidence of proficiency. Even when students cannot choose their own topics or formats, there are usually multiple acceptable routes towards constructing a product or performance. Obviously, assessments more carefully controlled by the teachers offer advantages and disadvantages. Similarly, more student-structured tasks have strengths and weaknesses that must be considered when choosing and designing an assessment.

Indirect Evidence to Direct Evidence: Even if a multiple-choice question asks a student to analyze or apply facts to a new situation rather than just recall the facts, and the student selects the correct answer, what do you now know about that student? Did that student get lucky and pick the right answer? What thinking led the student to pick that answer? We really do not know. At best, we can make some inferences about what that student might know and might be able to do with that knowledge. The evidence is very indirect, particularly for claims of meaningful application in complex, real-world situations. Authentic assessments, on the other hand, offer more direct evidence of application and construction of knowledge. As in the golf example above, putting a golf student on the golf course to play provides much more direct evidence of proficiency than giving the student a written test. Can a student effectively critique the arguments someone else has presented (an important skill often required in the real world)? Asking a student to write a critique should provide more direct evidence of that skill than asking the student a series of multiple-choice, analytical questions about a passage, although both assessments may be useful.
Teaching to the Test

These two different approaches to assessment also offer different advice about teaching to the test.  Under the TA model, teachers have been discouraged from teaching to the test.  That is because a test usually assesses a sample of students' knowledge and understanding and assumes that students' performance on the sample is representative of their knowledge of all the relevant material.  If teachers focus primarily on the sample to be tested during instruction, then good performance on that sample does not necessarily reflect knowledge of all the material.   So, teachers hide the test so that the sample is not known beforehand, and teachers are admonished not to teach to the test.

With AA, teachers are encouraged to teach to the test.  Students need to learn how to perform well on meaningful tasks.  To aid students in that process, it is helpful to show them models of good (and not so good) performance.  Furthermore, the student benefits from seeing the task rubric ahead of time as well.  Is this "cheating"?  Will students then just be able to mimic the work of others without truly understanding what they are doing?  Authentic assessments typically do not lend themselves to mimicry.  There is not one correct answer to copy.  So, by knowing what good performance looks like, and by knowing what specific characteristics make up good performance, students can better develop the skills and understanding necessary to perform well on these tasks. (For further discussion of teaching to the test, see Bushweller.)

Dr. Mueller

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Md. Mostafa Rashel
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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 07:01:38 PM »
Alternative Names for Authentic Assessment
You can also learn something about what AA is by looking at the other common names for this form of assessment. For example, AA is sometimes referred to as
•   Performance Assessment (or Performance-based) -- so-called because students are asked to perform meaningful tasks. This is the other most common term for this type of assessment. Some educators distinguish performance assessment from AA by defining performance assessment as performance-based as Stiggins has above but with no reference to the authentic nature of the task (e.g., Meyer, 1992). For these educators, authentic assessments are performance assessments using real-world or authentic tasks or contexts. Since we should not typically ask students to perform work that is not authentic in nature, I choose to treat these two terms synonymously.
•   Alternative Assessment -- so-called because AA is an alternative to traditional assessments.
•   Direct Assessment -- so-called because AA provides more direct evidence of meaningful application of knowledge and skills. If a student does well on a multiple-choice test we might infer indirectly that the student could apply that knowledge in real-world contexts, but we would be more comfortable making that inference from a direct demonstration of that application such as in the golfing example above.


Dr. Mueller

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Md. Mostafa Rashel
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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 07:03:56 PM »
Why Use Authentic Assessment?
____________________________
____________

The question "Why use authentic assessment?" is not meant to suggest that you have to choose between traditional assessments such as tests and more authentic or performance assessments. Often, teachers use a mix of traditional and authentic assessments to serve different purposes. This section, then, attempts to explain why teachers might choose authentic assessments for certain types of judgments and why authentic assessments have become more popular in recent years.
Authentic Assessments are Direct Measures

We do not just want students to know the content of the disciplines when they graduate. We, of course, want them to be able to use the acquired knowledge and skills in the real world. So, our assessments have to also tell us if students can apply what they have learned in authentic situations. If a student does well on a test of knowledge we might infer that the student could also apply that knowledge. But that is rather indirect evidence. I could more directly check for the ability to apply by asking the student to use what they have learned in some meaningful way. To return to an example I have used elsewhere, if I taught someone to play golf I would not check what they have learned with just a written test. I would want to see more direct, authentic evidence. I would put my student out on a golf course to play. Similarly, if we want to know if our students can interpret literature, calculate potential savings on sale items, test a hypothesis, develop a fitness plan, converse in a foreign language, or apply other knowledge and skills they have learned, then authentic assessments will provide the most direct evidence.

Can you think of professions which require some direct demonstration of relevant skills before someone can be employed in that field? Doctors, electricians, teachers, actors and others must all provide direct evidence of competence to be hired. Completing a written or oral test or interview is usually not sufficient. Shouldn't we ask the same of our students before we say they are ready to graduate? Or pass a course? Or move on to the next grade?

Authentic Assessments Capture Constructive Nature of Learning

A considerable body of research on learning has found that we cannot simply be fed knowledge. We need to construct our own meaning of the world, using information we have gathered and were taught and our own experiences with the world (e.g., Bransford & Vye, 1989; Forman & Kuschner, 1977; Neisser, 1967; Steffe & Gale, 1995; Wittrock, 1991). Thus, assessments cannot just ask students to repeat back information they have received. Students must also be asked to demonstrate that they have accurately constructed meaning about what they have been taught. Furthermore, students must be given the opportunity to engage in the construction of meaning. Authentic tasks not only serve as assessments but also as vehicles for such learning.

Authentic Assessments Integrate Teaching, Learning and Assessment


Authentic assessment, in contrast to more traditional assessment, encourages the integration of teaching, learning and assessing.  In the "traditional assessment" model, teaching and learning are often separated from assessment, i.e., a test is administered after knowledge or skills have (hopefully) been acquired.  In the authentic assessment model, the same authentic task used to measure the students' ability to apply the knowledge or skills is used as a vehicle for student learning.   For example, when presented with a real-world problem to solve, students are learning in the process of developing a solution, teachers are facilitating the process, and the students' solution to the problem becomes an assessment of how well the students can meaningfully apply the concepts.

Authentic Assessments Provide Multiple Paths to Demonstration

We all have different strengths and weaknesses in how we learn. Similarly, we are different in how we can best demonstrate what we have learned. Regarding the traditional assessment model, answering multiple-choice questions does not allow for much variability in how students demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired. On the one hand, that is a strength of tests because it makes sure everyone is being compared on the same domains in the same manner which increases the consistency and comparability of the measure. On the other hand, testing favors those who are better test-takers and does not give students any choice in how they believe they can best demonstrate what they have learned.

Thus, it is recommended (e.g., Wiggins, 1998) that multiple and varied assessments be used so that 1) a sufficient number of samples are obtained (multiple), and 2) a sufficient variety of measures are used (varied). Variety of measurement can be accomplished by assessing the students through different measures that allows you to see them apply what they have learned in different ways and from different perspectives. Typically, you will be more confident in the students' grasp of the material if they can do so. But some variety of assessment can also be accomplished within a single measure. Authentic tasks tend to give the students more freedom in how they will demonstrate what they have learned. By carefully identifying the criteria of good performance on the authentic task ahead of time, the teacher can still make comparable judgments of student performance even though student performance might be expressed quite differently from student to student. For example, the products students create to demonstrate authentic learning on the same task might take different forms (e.g., posters, oral presentations, videos, websites). Or, even though students might be required to produce the same authentic product, there can be room within the product for different modes of expression. For example, writing a good persuasive essay requires a common set of skills from students, but there is still room for variation in how that essay is constructed.

 Dr. Mueller


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Md. Mostafa Rashel
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Daffodil International University

Offline Md. Mostafa Rashel

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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 07:11:19 PM »
How Do You Create Authentic Assessments?
________________________________________
Authentic Assessment: Students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills

  Fortunately, you do not have to develop an authentic assessment from scratch.  You may already be using authentic tasks in your classroom.  Or, you may already have the standards written, the first and most important step in the process. Perhaps you have a task but need to more clearly articulate the criteria for evaluating student performance on the task. Or, you may just want to develop a rubric for the task. Wherever you are in the process, you can use the information on this page (and the ones that follow it) to help you through the steps of creating authentic assessments. If at any time the terminology is confusing, click a link to that concept or go to the glossary.
I tend to think of authentic assessment development in terms of four questions to be asked. Those questions are captured in the following graphic:


Questions to Ask:
1) What should students know and be able to do?
This list of knowledge and skills becomes your . . .

STANDARDS

2) What indicates students have met these standards?

To determine if students have met these standards, you
will design or select relevant . . .

AUTHENTIC TASKS

3) What does good performance on this task look like?

To determine if students have performed well on the task,
you will identify and look for characteristics of good
performance called . . .

CRITERIA

4) How well did the students perform?

To discriminate among student performance
across criteria, you will create a . . .

RUBRIC


[5) How well should most students perform?                  6) What do students need to improve upon?
The minimum level at which you would want                       Information from the rubric will give
most students to perform is your ...                                    students feedback and allow you to ...

CUT SCORE or BENCHMARK                                                            ADJUST INSTRUCTION
 

Summary of Steps
1.   Identify your standards for your students.
2.   For a particular standard or set of standards, develop a task your students could perform that would indicate that they have met these standards.
3.   Identify the characteristics of good performance on that task, the criteria, that, if present in your students’ work, will indicate that they have performed well on the task, i.e., they have met the standards.
4.   For each criterion, identify two or more levels of performance along which students can perform which will sufficiently discriminate among student performance for that criterion. The combination of the criteria and the levels of performance for each criterion will be your rubric for that task (assessment).

Now, I will guide you through each these four steps for creating an authentic assessment in more detail.
 Step 1: Identify the Standards
 Step 2: Select an Authentic Task
 Step 3: Identify the Criteria for the Task
 Step 4: Create the Rubric


 Dr. Mueller


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Md. Mostafa Rashel
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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 07:15:59 PM »
Standards
________________________________________
Before I can effectively teach or assess students, I need to determine what they should know and be able to do.  In other words, I need a good set of standards. Or do I need goals? Orobjectives? Standards, goals and objectives are all descriptions of what students should know and be able to do. So, how are they different? I distinguish standards from other statements of student performance primarily along two dimensions:  1) breadth of coverage and 2) feasibility of measurement and observation. see attached file......
 
 
 
Breadth of Coverage

Starting at the top of the above diagram, the mission statement of schools or districts or states is typically the broadest statement of what students are intended to know and be able to do when they graduate.   In roughly 50 words or less, mission statements attempt to communicate to all constituencies the purposes of education in that institution.  An example of a mission statement might be:

"All students at Mueller School will become effective communicators, collaborators and problem-solvers."

Unfortunately, mission statements just make good wall-hangings in many schools or districts.  That is a missed opportunity.   A clearly written, purposeful statement can serve as an excellent starting point for curriculum development, instruction and assessment.  Furthermore, a good mission statement can provide a useful guide against which progress can be compared to determine if it is following a consistent, productive path.

For example, if Mueller School adopted the above statement, it would design all curriculum in a manner to promote effective communication, collaboration and problem-solving.  Disciplinary content would not be forgotten.  Rather, a clear focus would develop around teaching students to communicate about mathematics, collaborate in the construction of new knowledge and solve problems specific to science, social studies, the fine arts, etc.  As a teacher at that school I would always ask myself if the lesson I had planned or the curricular framework we developed would promote such knowledge and skills.  Thus, a good mission statement would serve as a focal point to initiate development as well as a check for progress.

As stated above, mission statements are very brief, broad statements.  To flesh them out further schools often identify a set of goals which more specifically, yet still broadly, define expectations for students.  The goals also communicate the school's or district's focus for its educational plan.
Goals are typically subdivided further to identify standards.   Whereas goals are often written broadly enough to cross grade levels and content areas, standards, particularly those that are content-based, tend to be specific to one or a few grade levels and one content area, and may be written at the level of a unit in curricular planning. However, many state and national K-12 standards are written with the graduating senior in mind. To provide guidance for prior grades,benchmark standards are written which describe what progress third or fifth or eighth graders should have made toward a particular standard.
Moving down the pyramid above, the statements of what students should know and be able to do become more narrow and, consequently, more numerous within a curriculum.  The most specific and numerous is the objective.  Objectives are typically written at the level of the lesson plan, with one or more objectives for each lesson.
 
Feasibility of Measurement
The four types of statements presented in the pyramid can also be differentiated by whether or not they are amenable to assessment.  Goals and mission statements are typically written to share a broad vision, not to serve as benchmarks to be measured.  Thus, their language does not usually make them amenable to assessment.  On the other hand, standards and objectives are written with measurement in mind.  Consequently, those statements need to describe student behavior that is observable.

So, why is there a section of this authentic assessment web site devoted to standards and not one on mission statements, goals or objectives?  Although the term standard has been around the field of education for a long time, it has become more prominent in recent years as the authentic assessment movement has taken off.  I believe it has become more prominent than the other statements of behavior in the movement for two reasons.  First, like objectives, standards are amenable to assessment, a necessary requirement to guide task design.   Second, the broader nature of standard versus objective is consistent with authentic assessment's emphasis on complex, integrative authentic tasks that typically span more than one class period, more than one topic and sometimes even more than one discipline.

Thus, good authentic assessment development begins with identifying a set of standards for your students.  State and national efforts at standards-writing have typically focused on the content of the disciplines. But what about critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, collaborative skills and personal development? These highly valued skills are not easily incorporated into content standards and, thus, are often omitted or given insufficient attention. Yet, the standards should capture what we most value and most want our students to learn. So, we should consider including these other skills in our standards. To do so, it may be helpful to distinguish content standards from other types. To see how, look at

Dr. Mueller

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Md. Mostafa Rashel
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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 07:17:19 PM »
Types of Standards
________________________________________
I distinguish between three types of standards:
•   content standards
•   process standards
•   value standards

Note:  As with many of the authentic assessment terms, there is not a consistent set of labels for the different types of standards.  These are labels I find useful.
 
Content Standards
I define content standards as statements that describe what students should know or be able to do within the content of a specific discipline or at the intersection of two or more disciplines.  Examples would include
Students will classify objects along two dimensions.
Describe effects of physical activity on the body.
Present employment-related information in the target language.

Process Standards

I define process standards as statements that describe skills students should develop to enhance the process of learning.  Process standards are not specific to a particular discipline, but are generic skills that are applicable to any discipline.  Examples would include
Students will set realistic goals for their performance.
Seriously consider the ideas of others.
Find and evaluate relevant information.
 
Value Standards
I define value standards as statements that describe attitudes teachers would like students to develop towards learning.  Examples would include
Students will value diversity of opinions or perspectives.
Take responsible risks. (Costa & Kallick)
Persist on challenging tasks.


Dr. Mueller


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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 07:18:10 PM »
Is it a Content or a Process Standard?

Given the definitions listed above, the same standard could be either a content or a process standard.  For example, the standard students will write a coherent essay would be a process standard in a history course because it is not describing content within the discipline of history.  Rather, it describes a useful skill that historians should have along with those working in other disciplines.  However, if the same standard were part of an English composition course, I would label it a content standard because students would be learning the content of that discipline.  Yes, writing skills are useful in any discipline, but in the composition course it is being taught as content for the course.


Dr. Mueller

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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 07:19:30 PM »
Authentic Tasks
________________________________________
 
 
Authentic Task:
An assignment given to students designed to assess their ability to apply standard-driven knowledge and skills to real-world challenges

In other words, a task we ask students to perform is considered authentic when 1) students are asked to construct their own responses rather than select from ones presented and 2) the task replicates challenges faced in the real world.  (Of course, other definitions abound.)
If I were teaching you how to play golf, I would not determine whether you had met my standards by giving you a multiple-choice test.  I would put you out on the golf course to "construct your own responses" in the face of real-world challenges.  Similarly, in school we are ultimately less interested in how much information students can acquire than how well they can use it.   Thus, our most meaningful assessments ask students to perform authentic tasks.

However, these tasks are not just assessments.   Authentic assessment, in contrast to more traditional assessment, encourages the integration of teaching, learning and assessing.  In the "traditional assessment" model, teaching and learning are often separated from assessment, i.e., a test is administered after knowledge or skills have (hopefully) been acquired.  In the authentic assessment model, the same authentic task used to measure the students' ability to apply the knowledge or skills is used as a vehicle for student learning.   For example, when presented with a real-world problem to solve, students are learning in the process of developing a solution, teachers are facilitating the process, and the students' solution to the problem becomes an assessment of how well the students can meaningfully apply the concepts.



Dr. Mueller


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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 07:21:20 PM »
Characteristics of Authentic Tasks

Another way that authentic assessment is commonly distinguished from traditional assessment is in terms of their defining attributes. Of course, traditional assessments as well as authentic assessments vary considerably in the forms they take. But, typically, along the continuums of attributes listed below, traditional assessments fall more towards the left end of each continuum and authentic assessments fall more towards the right end.
 
T
raditional ------------------------------------------- Authentic
Selecting a Response ----------------------------------- Performing a Task
Contrived -------------------------------------------------------------- Real-life
Recall/Recognition ------------------------------ Construction/Application
Teacher-structured ------------------------------------ Student-structured
Indirect Evidence ------------------------------------------- Direct Evidence

Let me clarify the attributes by elaborating on each in the context of traditional and authentic assessments:

Selecting a Response to Performing a Task:
On traditional assessments, students are typically given several choices (e.g., a,b,c or d; true or false; which of these match with those) and asked to select the right answer. In contrast, authentic assessments ask students to demonstrate understanding by performing a more complex task usually representative of more meaningful application.

Contrived to Real-life:
It is not very often in life outside of school that we are asked to select from four alternatives to indicate our proficiency at something. Tests offer these contrived means of assessment to increase the number of times you can be asked to demonstrate proficiency in a short period of time. More commonly in life, as in authentic assessments, we are asked to demonstrate proficiency by doing something.

Recall/Recognition of Knowledge to Construction/Application of Knowledge:
Well-designed traditional assessments (i.e., tests and quizzes) can effectively determine whether or not students have acquired a body of knowledge. Thus, as mentioned above, tests can serve as a nice complement to authentic assessments in a teacher's assessment portfolio. Furthermore, we are often asked to recall or recognize facts and ideas and propositions in life, so tests are somewhat authentic in that sense. However, the demonstration of recall and recognition on tests is typically much less revealing about what we really know and can do than when we are asked to construct a product or performance out of facts, ideas and propositions. Authentic assessments often ask students to analyze, synthesize and apply what they have learned in a substantial manner, and students create new meaning in the process as well.

Teacher-structured to Student-structured:
When completing a traditional assessment, what a student can and will demonstrate has been carefully structured by the person(s) who developed the test. A student's attention will understandably be focused on and limited to what is on the test. In contrast, authentic assessments allow more student choice and construction in determining what is presented as evidence of proficiency. Even when students cannot choose their own topics or formats, there are usually multiple acceptable routes towards constructing a product or performance. Obviously, assessments more carefully controlled by the teachers offer advantages and disadvantages. Similarly, more student-structured tasks have strengths and weaknesses that must be considered when choosing and designing an assessment.

Indirect Evidence to Direct Evidence:
Even if a multiple-choice question asks a student to analyze or apply facts to a new situation rather than just recall the facts, and the student selects the correct answer, what do you now know about that student? Did that student get lucky and pick the right answer? What thinking led the student to pick that answer? We really do not know. At best, we can make some inferences about what that student might know and might be able to do with that knowledge. The evidence is very indirect, particularly for claims of meaningful application in complex, real-world situations. Authentic assessments, on the other hand, offer more direct evidence of application and construction of knowledge. As in the golf example above, putting a golf student on the golf course to play provides much more direct evidence of proficiency than giving the student a written test. Can a student effectively critique the arguments someone else has presented (an important skill often required in the real world)? Asking a student to write a critique should provide more direct evidence of that skill than asking the student a series of multiple-choice, analytical questions about a passage, although both assessments may be useful.

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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 07:23:09 PM »
Types of Authentic Tasks

I have used the term traditional assessment on this site to refer to the many tests that are commonly administered to assess the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Tests usually consist of selected-response items (see below) and, occasionally, some constructed-response items. In contrast, authentic assessments include tasks such as performances, products and constructed-response items that typically require more direct application of knowledge and skills. These types of tasks are described below along with common examples of each.

Selected-response
In response to a prompt, students select an answer from among those given or from memory or from allowable study aids. Typically, no new knowledge is constructed; students simply recall or recognize information required to select the appropriate response. Examples include
Multiple-choice tests
True-false
Matching
Fill-in-the-blank
Label a diagram
 
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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2012, 07:24:31 PM »
Constructed Response
In response to a prompt, students construct an answer out of old and new knowledge. Since there is no one exact answer to these prompts, students are constructing new knowledge that likely differs slightly or significantly from that constructed by other students. Typically, constructed response prompts are narrowly conceived, delivered at or near the same time a response is expected and are limited in length. However, the fact that students must construct new knowledge means that at least some of their thinking must be revealed. As opposed to selected response items, the teachers gets to look inside the head a little with constructed response answers. Examples include

(product-like):
Short-answer essay questions
"Show your work"
Ordering decimals
Limericks and rubric
Concept maps; another example / rubric
Writing a topic sentence
Identifying a theme
Making predictions
Brief summaries; another example
Peer editing
Figural representation (e.g., Venn diagram; web / rubric)
Journal response; literary journal reflections
Homework reflections; article reflections / rubric
Evaluating work of others; another example; another example
Self-assessment; another example / rubric
Self and group evaluation
Goal setting; another example / reflection
Question generation; another example
Explain your solution

(performance-like):
Typing test
Complete a step of science lab
Measure objects
Conducting bank transactions
Utilizing library services
Computer catalog search
On demand, construct a short musical, dance or
  dramatic response
On demand, exhibit an athletic skill
Reading fluently
Conferences
Participation (and self-assessment)
 
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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2012, 07:26:17 PM »
Product

In response to a prompt (assignment) or series of prompts, students construct a substantial, tangible product that reveals their understanding of certain concepts and skills and/or their ability to apply, analyze, synthesize or evaluate those concepts and skills. It is similar to a constructed-response item in that students are required to construct new knowledge and not just select a response. However, product assessments typically are more substantial in depth and length, more broadly conceived, and allow more time between the presentation of the prompt and the student response than constructed-response items. Examples include

Essays, stories, or poems
Ballads
Obituaries
Satirical pieces
Metaphors
School rules
Research reports; another example
Annotated bibliographies
Works cited pages
Reading strategies and rubric
Projects / rubric; another example / rubric; another example
Literary analysis; another example; another example
Character analysis; another example
Diction analysis
Advertisement analysis
Biography/Autobiography analysis
Argument analysis / rubric
Analyzing primary sources
Analysis of painting
Film analysis
Geometric analysis
Article reviews
Book reviews / rubric
Case study / rubric
Speech critiques
Extended journal responses
Identification of goals
Reading guides
Feudal contracts / rubric
Art exhibit or portfolio
Models; another example
Constructing objects
Floor plans
Musical compositions
Photo compositions
Design an advertisement
Design an experiment
Lab reports; another example
Surveys
Data recordings
Graphing of data
Data analysis; another example; another example
Anaysis of statistical use in media / rubric
Real-world problem solutions; another example / rubric
Logical sequences
Error analysis
Planning for a task
Preparing for a discussion
Proposals and criteria
Road trip directions
Map construction / rubric
Road trip budget
Scavenger hunt
Newspapers
Newscasts; another example
Editorials; another example
Peer editing / rubric
Posters; another example; another example / rubric
Collages
Pamplets; another example
Brochures; another example / rubric
Magazine covers
Bulletin boards
Videos / rubric
Podcasts
Games; another example; another example
Comic strips
Books; Booklets
Timelines; another example / rubric
Issue awareness campaigns
Letter writing; persuasive letter writing; complaint letter
Advice letter; letter to Congress; letter to Emperor
 
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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2012, 07:27:34 PM »
Performance
In response to a prompt (assignment) or series of prompts, students construct a performance that reveals their understanding of certain concepts and skills and/or their ability to apply, analyze, synthesize or evaluate those concepts and skills. It is similar to a constructed-response item in that students are required to construct new knowledge and not just select a response. However, performances typically are more substantial in depth and length, more broadly conceived, and allow more time between the presentation of the prompt and the student response than constructed-response items. Examples include

Conducting an experiment
Musical auditions; group auditions
Conducting an ensemble / rubric
Conduct band rehearsal / rubric
Create musical arrangement / rubric
Dance or dramatic performances
Dramatic readings
Skits
Role-plays / handout
Talk show performances; another example
Book talks
Debates; another example / rubric
Panel discussions
Fishbowl discussions
Coffee shop conversation
Athletic competitions
Oral presentations; another example; another example
Teaching/explaining
Speeches
Interviews
Self-introduction
Cooperative group behavior; another example


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Re: Authentic Assessment
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 07:33:18 PM »
Rubrics
________________________________________
 
Rubric: A scoring scale used to assess student performance along a task-specific set of criteria
Authentic assessments typically are criterion-referenced measures.  That is, a student's aptitude on a task is determined by matching the student's performance against a set of criteria to determine the degree to which the student's performance meets the criteria for the task.  To measure student performance against a pre-determined set of criteria, a rubric, or scoring scale, is typically created which contains the essential criteria for the task and appropriate levels of performance for each criterion.  For example, the following rubric (scoring scale) covers the research portion of a project:

Research Rubric  see attached file



As in the above example, a rubric is comprised of two components:  criteria and levels of performance.  Each rubric has at least two criteria and at least two levels of performance.  The criteria, characteristics of good performance on a task, are listed in the left-hand column in the rubric above (number of sources, historical accuracy, organization and bibliography). Actually, as is common in rubrics, the author has used shorthand for each criterion to make it fit easily into the table. The full criteria are statements of performance such as "include a sufficient number of sources" and "project contains few historical inaccuracies."

For each criterion, the evaluator applying the rubric can determine to what degree the student has met the criterion, i.e., the level of performance. In the above rubric, there are three levels of performance for each criterion. For example, the project can contain lots of historical inaccuracies, few inaccuracies or no inaccuracies.

Finally, the rubric above contains a mechanism for assigning a score to each project. (Assessments and their accompanying rubrics can be used for purposes other than evaluation and, thus, do not have to have points or grades attached to them.) In the second-to-left column a weight is assigned each criterion. Students can receive 1, 2 or 3 points for "number of sources." But historical accuracy, more important in this teacher's mind, is weighted three times (x3) as heavily. So, students can receive 3, 6 or 9 points (i.e., 1, 2 or 3 times 3) for the level of accuracy in their projects.


Dr. Mueller

Enduring ..........
Md. Mostafa Rashel
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Daffodil International University