Authentic and Equitable Assessments
Authentic Assessment: It’s very common to use multiple choice questions and open-ended response questions as assessments, particularly in pre-clinical courses or those earlier on in a training program. However, these often fail to predict whether students will be able to perform tasks in their discipline such as treatment planning, communicating with patients, etc. Therefore, there is a big push to implement authentic assessments which stresses the importance of choosing or developing an opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a situation that mimics real life.
There are a few ways these assessments differ from traditional ones:
Equitable Assessment: It is very important to design assessments that are equitable and accessible for all learners and to be sure we are testing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes listed in the learning objectives and not elements of a “hidden curriculum” like reading speed, overall vocabulary, or culturally specific knowledge and references. Relatedly, we want to be sure we are setting our students up for success not designing exams that are needlessly challenging or are designed to “weed out” certain learners. It can also be critical to provide multiple ways for students to demonstrate their skills. Therefore, we want to be intentional with the assessment choices we are making and modify assessments to promote equity.
To get started, ask yourself:
Ideas of authentic assessments:
Ideas for promoting equity in assessment: