Authentic Assessment: Evaluating Reading And Writing Education

1166 words - 5 pages

Authentic assessment can be referred to as assessment tasks that epitomise actual reading and writing in school and in the real world. The key aim of authentic assessment is to evaluate various kinds of literacy abilities in contexts similar to actual situations whereby the alleged abilities are employed. It also aims at assessing the abilities of students in real-world. In other words it is a form of assessment that requires students to apply their skills to authentic projects and tasks (Chapman & King, 2005; Roberts & Inman, 2007). For instance, authentic assessment may require students to read actual texts, write meaningful topics for real purposes and take part in authentic literacy ...view middle of the document...

Wiggins (1998) notes that the use of rubrics incorporates a set of criteria that can be used to effectively evaluate performance. In this case grades or points are assigned depending on how well the set criteria are fulfilled and are subsequently employed to provide quantitative values (Wiggins, 1998).

Lin, Baker and Dunbar (1991) note authentic assessment are valid in terms of impartiality, transference, consequence, cognitive complexity, content coverage, cost, significance and efficiency. A close look at several aspects of the developed authentic strategy depicts that this assessment strategy is authentic, reliable and valid due to its content coverage, impartiality, significance and cognitive complexity. For instance, the content coverage of this assessment strategy is relevant and significant to the topic in discussion. This strategy assesses students observation and analysis of how the solar still is set up, their prediction of what would occur when the solar still will be positioned in a sunny warm position and their explanation of how the solar still works. The content coverage of this assessment strategy is relevant and significant to the objectives of the study. Moreover, this strategy is reliable in assessing the knowledge and understanding of the students mainly because it is flexible and provides students with the opportunity to become critical thinkers who observe and make independent judgment. For instance, one of the authentic tasks that students are required to do is to make journal entries on their observations and what they have learnt during the solar still experiment. This task will provide students with a suitable opportunity to think critically, recount and apply what they have learnt.

Basically, the developed authentic assessment strategy is a valid and reliable strategy of assessing the understanding and knowledge of students mainly because it does not encourage passive test-taking or route learning. Rather, it focuses on assessing the analytical skills of students, their creativity and their ability to apply what they have learnt. Furthermore, the developed authentic assessment is a reliable strategy for assessing the ability of students to work collaboratively and the proficiency of student’s oral and written expression skills. Authentic assessment strategy puts into account the learning process just as the finished product. Wolf (1989) further suggests the reliability and validity of authentic assessment by noting that authentic tasks are essential in improving the learning process of students since when students embark on authentic tasks, it becomes an “episode of learning” for the students. Wiggins (1989) further notes that, from the perspective of a teacher, teaching authentic tasks guarantee that the students are concentrating on worthwhile strategies and...

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