Authentic assessment encourages students to demonstrate knowledge and skills in real life or authentic settings. The University’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) papers, for example, create a link between academic and theoretical learning and the practical applications of this learning in the workplace. Other papers may also wish to adopt authentic assessment too.

Examples of authentic assessment include:

  • Simulation or role-play (for example, a counselling or nursing scenario).
  • Assessment in a workplace context (for example, a WIL project).
  • Completion of a real-world task (for example, development of a business plan, engineering design challenge).
  • Internships and professional and clinical practice placements.

Authentic assessment conditions can be designed to provide students with realistic experience in dealing with unpredictable, complex and ambiguous situations. Students are encouraged to problem solve, drawing on and integrating their skills and knowledge, and to rehearse and imagine themselves in the professional context.

Designing and implementing authentic assessment tasks can be resource intensive, and needs to be carefully designed so as not to overburden students. Technologies exist and are being developed constantly which will enable scenario-based virtual learning environments and simulations.