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Assessment Adventureland: Authentic Assessment Expeditions

by | Sep 28, 2023

Today, we’re embarking on an adventurous journey into the realm of authentic assessment inspired by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. Get ready to explore how assessment isn’t just about tests; it’s about capturing real-world skills, fostering critical thinking, and celebrating diverse abilities. Join us as we venture into the land of authentic assessment and transform your classrooms into assessment adventurelands.

Navigating Authentic Assessment Expeditions

Imagine a land where assessments are not confined to traditional tests but extend into real-world scenarios. This is the heart of authentic assessment, a concept championed by Wiggins and McTighe. Authentic assessments reflect the skills and knowledge students will need in the real world, allowing them to demonstrate their understanding through projects, presentations, performances, and more.

In the special education context, how does this assessment adventureland come to life?

SENCO Exploration: Tailoring Authentic Assessments

Imagine a student who excels in hands-on projects but struggles with written exams. This is where the assessment adventureland becomes your compass. By designing authentic assessments that tap into their strengths, such as creating a visual portfolio or presenting a project, you’re not just assessing; you’re providing a platform for them to shine.

Consider a student who communicates through alternative means due to speech challenges. Authentic assessment isn’t just about academic skills; it’s about capturing holistic abilities, too. By allowing them to showcase their understanding through visual art, multimedia presentations, or interactive demonstrations, you’re not just assessing; you’re honouring their unique abilities and providing a pathway for success.

Of course, in the real world, assessments (especially those which are standardised or terminal) are driven by a fixed format and required parameters for delivery.  But for formative assessment purposes, “authentic assessments” are far more useful.

Key Takeaway

The assessment adventureland isn’t just about tests; it’s about creating meaningful opportunities for students to demonstrate their skills and abilities. As you guide your students through their learning journey, remember that your role isn’t just about grading; it’s about designing assessments that reflect real-world demands, celebrate diversity, and foster critical thinking. Whether it’s project-based assessments, performance tasks, or presentations, every approach you take is a step towards an assessment adventureland that empowers students to showcase their talents and readiness for the world beyond the classroom.

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