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Active Learning

Active learning includes any type of instructional activity that engages students in learning, beyond listening, reading, and memorizing.

What is Authentic Assessment? Rubrics and More

What is Authentic Assessment?

Authentic assessment is a form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills.  Or, as Grant Wiggins (1993) describes it, authentic measures are “engaging and worthy problems or questions of importance, in which students must use knowledge to fashion performances effectively and creatively. The tasks are either replicas of or analogous to the kinds of problems faced by adult citizens and consumers or professionals in the field.”  Authentic tasks can range from analyzing a political cartoon to making observations of the natural world to computing the amount of paint needed to cover a particular room to performing in a chorale.




Creating a Rubric – Key Steps

  1. Identify the type and purpose of the Rubric - Consider what you want to apply assess/evaluate and why (see matrix above).
  2. Identify Distinct Criteria to be evaluated - Develop/reference the existing description of the course/assignment/activity and pull your criteria directly from your objectives/expectations. Make sure that the distinction between the assessment criteria are clear.
  3. Determine your levels of assessment - Identify your range and scoring scales. Are they linked to simple numeric base scores? Percentages? Grades or GPAs?
  4. Describe each level for each of the criteria, clearly differentiating between them - For each criteria, differentiate clearly between the levels of expectation. Whether holistically or specifically, there should be no question as to where a product/performance would fall along the continuum of levels. (Hint: Start at the bottom (unacceptable) and top (mastery) levels and work your way “in”).
  5. Involve learners in development and effective use of the Rubric - Whether it is the first time you are using a particular rubric or the 100th time, learner engagement in the initial design or on-going development of the assessment rubric helps to increase their knowledge of expectations and make them explicitly aware of what and how they are learning and their responsibility in the learning process.
  6. Pre-test and retest your rubric - A valid and reliable rubric is generally developed over time. Each use with a new group of learners or a colleague provides an opportunity to tweak and enhance it.(Source:

Authentic Assessment Learning Tools used to conduct authentic assessment

1.  Portfolios:
 Several critical components of effective portfolios are— • A thoughtful student-developed introduction to the portfolio, • Reflection papers behind each major assignment of the portfolio, • Scoring rubrics for portfolio entries that enable students to self-assess their work, • Established models, standards, and criteria that enable students to select their best work to be included in the portfolio, and • Student oral presentation of their portfolios to significant others such as peers, teachers, and parents.

2.  Learning Logs:

3.  Journals

4.  Projects