Authentic Assessment in Inauthentic Times: Finding Joy, Trust and Meaning in Assessment Relationships

Authentic Assessment in Inauthentic Times: Finding Joy, Trust and Meaning in Assessment Relationships

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calendar_today Date: 28 May 2024 (Tuesday)
schedule Time: 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
location_on Mode: Online through Zoom
record_voice_over Speaker:

Dr Jan McArthur
Head of Department of Educational Research and
Senior Lecturer in Education and Social Justice
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

class Moderator: Dr CHENG Kwok Shing Gary
Executive Co-Director of
Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology (LTTC) and
Associate Professor of
Department of Mathematics & Information Technology (MIT)
The Education University of Hong Kong
person Target: Staff  
language Language: English

Abstract

Authentic Assessment in Inauthentic Times: Finding Joy, Trust and Meaning in Assessment Relationships

by Dr Jan McArthur

Authentic assessment can mean many things to many people. It can be a deep commitment to a more just and purposeful form of assessment in these difficult times, or it can be an easy catch phrase – a buzzword – that gives the illusion of innovation, while actually changing very little. The popularity of authentic assessment as an idea is now colliding with our increased sense of uncertainty about the very nature of authenticity. With the rise of generative AI we have been challenged to reconsider – again – why we assess and what counts as legitimate knowledge and legitimate curation, use and engagement with knowledge.

In this session, I outline some theoretical foundations for the concept of authentic assessment, and argue that getting these foundations in place is essential if we are to meet the challenges of these increasingly strange, and quite possibly inauthentic, times. Such foundations rely on respect for the complex and contested knowledge at the heart of higher education, and respect for the importance of a socially-situated sense of achievement when we enable students to engage with this knowledge. While deeply challenging, such an approach can also be deeply rewarding and open up new understandings of assessment and student-staff relationships based on trust and joy, among many other things.

Far from being a naïve response to the challenges of our times, I will argue that approaching assessment in this way is deeply robust, meaningful and realistic – and moves us from the “jargon of authenticity” to the possibility of a lived reality.

Speaker

Dr Jan McArthur

Head of Department of Educational Research and
Senior Lecturer in Education and Social Justice
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

Dr Jan McArthur is Head of Department and Senior Lecturer in Education and Social Justice in the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, UK. Her research focuses on the nature and purposes of higher education, and how these relate to teaching, learning and assessment, as seen from the perspective of education and social justice, informed by critical theory. She has published widely in journal articles and several monographs and is frequently asked to speak on higher education, assessment and social justice. She is Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Higher Education and Editor of Arts and Humanities in Higher Education.