Authentic Assessment Project

To support the success and progression of our learners, and prepare students for their
professional careers, we will move towards more authentic forms of assessment that
facilitate attainment of graduate qualities and job-ready skills.

About

The Authentic Assessment Project will undertake a programmatic review of our approaches to assessment and how we prepare our students for the future workforce. Our assessments will be relevant to industry, to prepare students for their careers as future leaders and innovators. We will ensure that through our industry advisory groups, in support of our programs, our assessment is validated against future employer requirements. Students will be critical partners in this project.

We will focus on high quality assessment rather than high volume assessment, and there will be far greater utilisation of situational assessment (in laboratories, studios, clinics and simulated workplace settings) rather than traditional assignments and final exams.

Learn more about the Project in this video by Project Chairs, Professor Abelardo Pardo and Associate Professor Sheridan Gentili.

Downlaod Authentic Assessment Project Plan (pdf).

Deliverables

A key priority action of the University’s Academic Enterprise Plan 2021-2025 (AEP), is the Authentic Assessment Project (AAP), which supports the recognition of and movement towards more authentic forms of assessment, instilling graduate qualities and job-ready skills within our students (AEP Action 2.2). 

The project will be delivered across four streams, each led by a separate working group, which will run concurrently as summarised below. All project streams will commence in early-mid 2022.

Streams

Achieving the objectives of the AAP will require a shared understanding of authentic assessment – examples of authentic assessment, the role of feedback in authentic assessment, and promoting academic integrity in the design of authentic assessments. The development of an Authentic Assessment network will provide scope to support skill and resource development, sharing of best practice within UniSA and nationally and internationally, and increasing opportunity for recognition and reward through our existing grants and awards scheme and UniSA’s Professional Experience Program (PEP). 

Key deliverables of Stream 1:

  • Authentic Assessment network – community of practice to showcase and champion authentic assessment across UniSA, building on existing forums such as the TIU Breakfast Session and T&L Symposium
  • TIU-led professional development resources to facilitate authentic assessment thinking at both a course and program level
  • Teaching and learning grants with a focus on authentic assessment.

Stream 1 has interdependences with AEP actions 1.4 – Teacher Development Programs, 1.10 – Unstoppable Grants and Awards, and 2.1 – Enhanced Student Learning Experiences.

Assessment25 will lay the foundation for how we capture and share information about our assessments, both internally as part of our review process, and externally to our key stakeholders – students and industry.

A key deliverable of this stream, which will contribute to and form the basis of the implementation strategy (refer to Stream 3), is Assessment Scenario statements. These statements will be a form of self-assessment of course assessments led by Academic Unit Teaching & Learning Strategy Groups (TLSGs), with support from Academic Unit Deans of Programs and the Stream 2 working group. Assessment Scenario statements will articulate the authenticity of each assessment within a course across a program, making the connection between assessment and professional competencies explicit to both the student and teaching staff (this includes academics and casuals).

Key deliverables of Stream 2:

  • Definition of authentic assessment at UniSA
  • Assessment Scenarios – statement of authentic assessment
    - Academic Unit self-assessment of course assessments led by Academic Unit Teaching and Learning Strategy Groups (TLSGs) facilitated by Stream 2 Working Group
  • PCMS enhancements to include revised assessment types approved by Academic Board (2016) and ability to capture the Assessment Scenario
  • Review of the Curriculum Innovation Process (CIP) and program Evaluation and Reaccreditation Report (ERR) to include reporting of authentic assessments
  • Assessment mapping
    - assessment data within courses objectives
    - course learning outcomes to program learning outcomes
    - assessment data within a course and between core courses within a program

The implementation stream contains the actions required to communicate and support academics in achieving the aspiration of the AAP within our courses and programs. The AAP implementation model will be influenced by stakeholder consultations with staff, students, alumni, program advisory groups, and industry representatives. This will ensure high-quality assessments linked to the needs of our students and industry.

Key deliverables of Stream 3: 

  • Implementation model developed in consultation with Academic Units
  • By 2025, all assessments at UniSA will be deemed as authentic based on the Assessment
    Scenario
  • Authentic assessments will be scaffolded, increasing in complexity and authenticity towards
    the end of a program.

To better guide our decisions and achieve the key objectives of the AAP, we will work to review and align existing policies, procedures and statements. This will ensure the University-wide investment towards more authentic and contemporary forms of assessment become embedded in practice.

Key deliverables of Stream 4:

  • APPM policy review
    - Section 1 – Assessment Principles and Requirements
    - Section 3 – Moderation
    - Section 6 – Examination Procedures
    - Section 9 – Academic Integrity
  • A–35 – Quality assurance and improvement: Programs, courses and teaching arrangements
    policy review
  • Program Approval Manual (PAM) review

Policy review will be informed by benchmarking of equivalent policies from across the higher education sector, in addition to staff and student consultation.

Governance

The Provost & Chief Academic Officer will sponsor and maintain oversight of the Project. Associate Professor Sheridan Gentili, Director: Teaching Innovation Unit and Professor Abelardo Pardo, Dean of Programs (Engineering) will lead the project and report on progress to the Academic Enterprise Oversight Committee. Project support will be provided by the Project Officers in the TIU and the Office of the Provost & Chief Academic Officer. 

Steering Group 

The Authentic Assessment Project Steering Group (AAPSG) will have overall responsibility for managing the Project activities across each of the four streams. This will include activity schedule, communications and consultation, and preparing the key project deliverables.

The AAPSG Terms of Reference (pdf) outlines the core responsibilities of the group and memberdship composition.

Contact

General queries regarding the Authentic Assessment Project should be directed to TIU@unisa.edu.au or
phone 8302 7849.