Authentic Assessment - “ Mission Possible or Mission Impossible?

Document Type

Book Chapter




Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Natural Sciences / Centre for Ecosystem Management




Wajrak, M., & Perkins, T. J. (2009). Authentic assessment - Mission possible or mission impossible?. In Frankland, Steve and Lee, Joanna (Eds.). Enhancing Teaching and Learning through Assessment: Experience from the Project. Location: Springer.


This paper describes the successful implementation of authentic assessment items within two undergraduate units in the School of Natural Sciences. It argues that the content of any authentic assessment needs to ne contextualized and thus discipline specific. Within the field of environmental planning, there is an ongoing debate about both the nature and definition of the subject which makes creation truly authentic assessment problematic. The environment planning unit now includes three assessment items which replicate many of he practices required of an environmental planner. In contrast, in the field of chemistry, it is difficult to replicate the work practices of a professional chemist within the University learning environment. In the chemistry unit, an industry trip and seminar have been included to provide a more authentic learning environment for the students. The paper shows that it is possible to create assessments that are authentic and also meet the University’s learning requirements.

This document is currently not available here.