Traditional Versus Authentic Assessments

Traditional Versus Authentic Assessments
 Traditional Versus Authentic Assessments

Traditional Versus Authentic Assessments

Order Instructions:

Provide two examples in which traditional assessment is used.
Multiple-choice or matching
Replace each with an authentic assessment.
Design four assessments that align to standards and instruction.
Identify each assessment as summative, formative, standardized, or self-assessment.


Traditional Versus Authentic Assessments

Various methods exist for teachers to assess their students.  Assessments help teachers to understand better the current knowledge of students. The two commonly assessment methods are traditional and authentic.

Traditional assessments methods widely used include short answers, essays and multiple-choice tests and true and false tests.  In true and false test, students are given two options to make the right decision depending on the question asked (Dikli, 2003). Multiple choices test allows students to select one correct answer in a list of options provided. Essays are flexible and help to assess higher order learning skills of students. These traditional assessments can be replaced or substituted with authentic assessment which allows learners to relate instructions to real world experiences. The two example of authentic assessment includes portfolios and projects. Portfolios allow students to display their work to determine whether they have mastered skills to handle certain task.  It helps to assess the capability of student to self reflect, and to make correct judgment. Project as well allows the learners to display what learners know about a topic, as it requires one to apply related concepts and prior experiences.

Standards defines what learners should know, understand  and be able to do while instructions  provide framework on  how to effectively  teach that which learners should know (Jones, 2002).  Therefore, teachers can design different assessments that align to the standards and instructions. Examples of formative assessment are to ask students to draw a concept map to represent the way they understand the topic. This assessment aims to identify areas of weaknesses, make improvement, and have low point value. Example of summative assessment is to ask the learners to take a midterm exam. This assessment is high value and aims at assessing learning progress at the end of the term. Example of standardized assessments is the queries designed by an expert or a teacher and aim at testing specific abilities of the learner such as during admission to a certain grade. The learners are given time limit to respond to them. Example of self-assessment question is where a learner develops own questions and solves them. It aims to assess an individual capability in certain area.


Dikli, S. (2003). Assessment at a distance: Traditional vs. Alternative assessments. The Turkish     online journal of Educational Technology, 2(3), 13-20. Retrieved from:

Jones, T. (2002). Options and Considerations for Distance Education: Learner Assessment and     Self-assessment,(3)3. TOJDE (Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education). ISSN     1302-6488 Available at:

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