What is it about?

This article investigates the importance of developing a shared understanding around the term "authentic assessment design" and the need to work with sessional teaching staff and industry; as co-learners and co-developers for effective authentic assessment redesign for improving instruction.

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Why is it important?

Higher Education teachers have mixed feelings towards the co-designing of assessments that take place via groups. When not managed well, this creates negative feelings towards colleagues or results in educators opting to work alone. When institutions invest in adequate resources to support teacher-centric group work for designing and enhancing curriculum, positive results occur. Curriculum enhancement that is achieve via groups is paramount due to the ever increasing need for teachers to create authentic assessment tasks to improve students' employability outcomes for the future of work. But, how best to do this is not always clear.


Higher Education Institutions expect teachers will intuitively know how to work effectively with others when co-designing courses and units of study. However, this is not always the case. Tensions and conflicts arise. Negative group think can sway team members to avoid innovation and working with others to create authentic assessments for improving instruction. When course teams and/or teaching teams take the time to establish a shared understanding of what authentic assessment redesign means to them and when institutions support this work (alongside the involvement of sessional teaching staff and industry) positive results arise. An important question to ask is: Are educational institutions supporting teaching teams for resolving conflict and effective project management processes when co-designing curriculum via course teams?

Associate Professor Rachael Hains-Wesson
University of Sydney

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: STEM academic teachers’ experiences of undertaking authentic assessment-led reform: a mixed method approach, Studies in Higher Education, March 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1593350.
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