Authentic Assessment: A Foundation Year Case Study

Keywords: authentic assessment, computer science, module development, module design


The last few years have seen many universities increasingly move towards authentic assessment as a means of developing a fair, inclusive and relevant curriculum. Taking its cue from Mueller (2005), who defined authentic assessment as ‘a form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of knowledge and skills’, this paper presents two separate contributions. Firstly, a framework for developing authentic assessment that begins with developing the assessment itself, then module-level intended learning outcomes (ILOs), then activities to build towards the assessment and finally creating the taught content. Secondly, a case study is presented which shows this development framework in action. Client-Led Collaborative Design is a Foundation Year Computer Science module that places students in the position of software developers, getting them to engage with clients, create intuitive user interfaces and professionally present their finished products. The steps in creating this module and developing the materials are outlined and advice given for creating authentic assessment in any discipline.


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