The Authentic Assessment Toolbox is a how-to hypertext on creating authentic tasks, rubrics and standards for measuring and improving student learning. Major sections of the tutorial include an introduction, in which authentic assessment is defined and contrasted with traditional assessments, a section delineating the benefits of authentic assessment, and a section that describes a four-step process for developing authentic assessments. These steps are 1) Identify the Standards, 2) Select an Authentic Task, 3) Identify the Criteria for the Task, & 4) Create the Rubric.There are also several clear examples and a glossary. The site is well-maintained and constantly updated.
Type of Material:
Education courses that want to provide a thorough and "hands-on" investigation into educational assessment can use this site for a series of related assignments. Different sections of this assessment site can be assigned for reading and students or student teachers can then be asked to develop their own assessment examples following the clear and specific steps that are outlined in this site. Furthermore,
the glossary provides many starting points for online investigations in several assessment areas.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Educators will understand what authentic assessment is, how it is used, and how to create a variety of ways to assess tasks they developed for their students, Why has authentic assessment become more popular and when is the best time to use it. Specific objectives include the following 1)compare & contrast authentic and traditional assessments. 2)identify appropriate standards for an educational goal 3)select an authentic task for an educational goal based on developed standards 4)identify the criteria for recognizing good performance on an authentic task 5)create the rubrics to distinguish between inadequate & adequate performance
Target Student Population:
College, Graduate School, and especially Student Teachers and Educators
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some background in understanding why assessment is necessary will make this site very meaningful, but it is not required.
Evaluation and Observation
The tutorial is excellent coverage of an important topic for teachers given the current emphasis of competency assessment of students and the renewed call for teacher accountability for pupil achievement. Given this climate it is important that teachers examine their assessments for relevance to ?real world tasks.? Authentic assessment and traditional assessment are not presented as an either/or proposition but both are shown to have different uses in a systematic assessment of student achievement. This site is extremely strong in that it brings together many different issues about assessment and explains them in a thoughtful and sequential manner.Develop of the different types of assessment tools is progressive. For example, construction of the holistic rubric comes before the analytic rubric and the way to determine the features and levels in a rubric comes before how to include weighted scoring. The site presents assessment information in a logical, sensible, and practical manner.
No references to other resources for further study. This is particularly important for graduate students using this site.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Good explanations of the components of authentic assessments ? standards, task, criteria, rubrics ? and how they are related. Excellent delineated of the development process in constructing authentic assessments. Also good examples of authentic assessments that have been developed by the many of the author?s students.The Workshop sessions, still a work in progress, offer you a chance to look over the author's shoulder as he helps an imaginary teacher in the development of standards, authentic tasks and rubrics. Diagrams and illustrations,
such as the one that clarifies Mission Statement, Goals, Standards, and Objectives--and which are measurable and which are not, can easily and quite effectively supplement an instructor's lesson or presentation.
More student interactivity should be incorporated into the tutorial. Examination of the site lead to the discovery of only one exercise in which the student is asked to construct a product. That was in the section on identifying the criteria for a task It appeared to be a worthwhile exercise and there should be more of them.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is visually appealing and easy to navigate. There is much depth to the site, but the organization of the information is clear and logical so use is very efficient. The site employs a typical hierarchical layout with two navigational bars clearly signaling structure. Nice design with a good color scheme for the website leading to clear legibility of type. The site is well-maintained and constantly updated which means there is current information available.
Individual pages that comprise the site are too long. Even when major sections of the site are broken into multiple pages these pages are typically too long. This results in scrolling that hides the navigation bars. Not having the navigation bars in sight at all times lessened perception of the site?s structure (and it really is a well-organized site) resulting in more of a perception of being lost in the site.