Regular methods of assessment used in educational institutions include tests, quizzes, multiple-choice questions, short answers, etc. These methods are being used since a very long time, and aim at understanding a student's ability to grasp knowledge and skills as per the set curriculum. Students are assessed to check whether they have mastered a particular topic or not. Practical application of the acquired knowledge and skill is ignored. This approach of learning fails to support the student in the long run.
Authentic assessment is a technique that can be used by teachers to assess the overall growth of a student. It evaluates the learning of a student throughout the year, and requires the student to use his knowledge and skill to generate meaningful content. This method helps in inculcating various skills in a student by the use of projects, presentations, journals, etc. Authentic assessment prepares a student for upcoming professional life by inculcating several aspects like deep understanding of knowledge, social skills, problem-solving skills, time management, team work, etc.
Authentic assessment can be broadly classified as Formal and Informal. Formal assessment is a systematic approach that teachers use to evaluate the students after a structured instructional program. This test helps the teachers to understand whether the students have actually acquired the skills and concepts of the program or not. Informal assessment has an informal approach through group projects, oral presentations, performances, etc. Teachers need to record their observations about a particular student during informal assessment because it can be done at anytime in the classroom.
Types of Authentic Assessment
This technique is not new. It has always been a part of the education system to directly evaluate the acquired skill by a student. Be it dancing, woodworking, typing etc., it validates the acquired mastery by direct observation. Real-world scenarios are given to students to evaluate their performance in problem-solving tasks.
Portfolios are maintained by students to keep a check on their overall progress, be it in any field. It gives a clear picture about the various accomplishments of a student over a particular period of time and helps the student in self assessment. This method involves the student as well in the assessment process.
This method should be included so that students are aware of their own accomplishments, behavior, and where they actually stand in a group. This will help them in identifying the areas they need to work on and their areas of excellence.
This method assesses the student's interest areas, activities, and background in an informal conversation. The interview helps the student to open up with the teacher and discuss his areas of interest and problematic areas so as to find a solution to them.
Students are asked to write narrative, persuasive, or expository articles to evaluate their ability to write and generate relevant content.
This method aims at evaluating the reading and listening skills of a student, and how well he/she can reproduce the main ideas of a text. Scoring can be done using rating scale and can be marked on language content.
Scoring is done using rating scale on oral presentation of the demonstration, or written report of the experiment or both. This method evaluates how a student utilizes various materials for demonstration purposes.
Teachers can evaluate written reports, formal presentation, or both. This method helps in identifying writing skills, thinking skills, and presentation skills. It can also be marked using rating scale.
This method requires the student to generate a written report for open-ended questions. This analyzes the analytical, thinking, and writing skills of the student.
Teacher observes the students and marks them for class participation, attentiveness, and rapport with classmates. This requires very less time and is possible in a classroom setting.
Several teaching methods are adopted in educational institutions to provide the best learning experience to the students. Proper teaching methods are necessary, but it is equally important to have a proper assessment technique to monitor overall development of the students. A positive reinforcement in the classroom will help in building a positive learning environment for the students and help them in becoming great achievers in the future.