What is Authentic Assessment?

Assessment is an integral part of education and plays a vital role in determining students’ strengths, learning preferences, instructional needs, and conditions for success in any type of learning situation. Educators can use a wide variety of methods to evaluate student skills, learning needs, and academic progress.

Authentic assessment is one type of method that integrates teaching, learning, and assessment to evaluate student knowledge and skills. In authentic assessment, students demonstrate their knowledge of essential skills and competencies by performing a task or producing a product in a real world environment. This type of assessment is particularly beneficial for students with more complex support needs because it enables students to show what they know in a variety of ways outside of the classroom.

In Authentic Assessment and Employment:

When determining how to assess students in an employment setting, most would agree that an ideal assessment tool would be one that evaluates students’ knowledge and skills when performing real world tasks. Traditional assessment practices, such as standardized tests, may not enable educators to accurately identify students’ skills, strengths, and support needs that will contribute to employability. However, authentic assessment provides engaging and meaningful learning over a period of time to assist with skill and behavior attainment in preparation for work. When thoughtfully designed, authentic assessment in employment settings can assist educators to identify appropriate learning standards and competencies, gather data, and provide instructional interventions to increase independence in real life work situations.

The following video provides an overview of authentic assessment and the benefits for using this type of method to measure the progress of students with disabilities in applying knowledge and skills.

Coming soon are additional videos and resources for designing and implementing authentic assessment in an employment setting. To learn more about designing and implementing work-based learning opportunities for students in the community, sign up for CTI’s Work-Based Learning: Changing the Outcomes self-paced course. To stay up to date on information and resources related to transition for youth with disabilities, subscribe to our weekly newsblast.

More Resources

For additional information about Authentic Assessment, please see our additional resources.