Authentic Assessment: FAQs

Authentic Assessment focusses on realistic practices, scenarios and contexts, and aims to develop students’ capacity to apply higher order thinking skills in an increasingly complex employment environment.

Feedback is an essential part of any assessmentAuthentic assessment relies on a more explicit connection between the tasks required for the assessment and the professional practice. Feedback does not necessarily need to be implemented under the same lens. If an assessment authentically replicates professional practice, students should receive actional feedback from the instructorGiving students effective (and actionable) feedback on all assessments helps promote their learning, confidence, and capacity for evaluative judgement. 

The University Academic Workload Model provides an allocation for the marking of student assessment items. Additional allocations may apply for marking assessments in specific courses as determined through the workload allocation process.

The Project will act to complement existing processes. The Authentic Assessment Project provides an opportunity for us to revisit, at a Program level, how assessments are designed and embedded in the learning experience. We will consider more explicitly the alignment of skills, scenarios, and contexts that students will find in their professional careers.

As this is a whole of university project, additional resources and processes will be developed to further support the outstanding work currently underway in the Academic Units and UniSA Online.

Course Coordinators will be asked to develop Assessment Scenario statements. The statements will summarise the authenticity of assessments within a Course and Program(s), making explicit the connection between assessment and professional competencies to both the students and teaching staff.

The Teaching Innovation Unit will provide support to academic staff within all Academic Units and UniSA Online to conceptualise and write the Assessment Scenario statement.

Academic Units and UniSA Online will be supported by advisory groups to provide advice on elements of the curriculum, course, and program assessment strategies (AEP Action 3.4).  

Authentic assessment provides a unique opportunity for instructors to ask industry partners or advisory groups to review the context in which assessment is deployed and verify its alignment with current professional practice. 

As part of the Authentic Assessment Project, PCMS will undergo a major upgrade. This upgrade will ensure assessment types and classifications can be captured in PCMS as described in Appendix C of the Program Approval Manual (pg 39).

Separately, the TIU will be working closely with BIP over the next few years to develop a range of Program visualisations which aim to help Program Directors understand diversity of assessment types within Courses, and frequency of assessments across the academic teaching periods. We will also work to map the connects between Graduate Qualities, Program Learning Outcomes, Course Learning Objective, and assessments. This work will be done in consultation with the Academic Units and UniSA Online.

Yes, we would encourage and support you to review the assessments.

Certain courses teach skills or develop a body of working knowledge that underpins professional practice without a direct or obvious connection to the practice itself. It is important that we help students understand the connections and how the skills they develop in the course will position them for success in their degree, and as a professional. For example, some skills can be presented as those that underpin certain type of analysis, processes, or responsibilities that are clearly part of the professional practice. Articulating this connection will help students to understand the purpose and value of the assessment.


The 2022 round of UniSA Teaching an Learning Grants (for funding in 2023) will recognise and support authentic assessment. As part of the Academic Enterprise Plan (Action 1.10) the TIU will be working closely with UniSA RO to establish a University-wide Unstoppable Grants and Awards Scheme. This scheme will recognise and support research projects in authentic assessment.

This frequently asked questions section will be built up over time, providing answers to common questions that are received about the dashboard.