Creating authentic online assessment using an interdisciplinary approach

Presenters: Barbara Myers and Dilani Gedera


This session explores the literature, experiences and issues pertinent to the design, development and delivery of authentic assessment in a fully online undergraduate business education course. This initiative was undertaken when the Faculty was predominantly engaged in models of blended learning. Thus, the design, development and delivery of this fully online course in 2019, pre-dates the University’s radical and swift move to emergency remote teaching in response to the 2020 pandemic.

During the session, we will draw on a critical thinking framework, using rigorous questioning to actively challenge and reflect on the process and outcomes of the newly developed fully online course. Additionally, the principles of authentic assessment are explored. Essentially authentic assessment helps students to contextualise their learning, develop skills and knowledge that are required in real-world situations (Larkin, 2014). Therefore, designing authentic and meaningful learning experiences of assessment was core to our change process.

We will also highlight the use of narrative/storytelling as an important resource in the construction of authentic learning environments and the design of authentic assessment. While organisations draw on storytelling to understand organisational culture (Boyce, 1996), it is through our individual stories that we learn to make sense and meaning of our lives and the lives of others (Roche and Sadowsky, 2003). We discuss how we integrated creative storying into the assessment process for students to engage in a more immediate, deeper and lived experience of the knowledge and issues that they study.

This session presents an interdisciplinary and innovative approach to authentic assessment in the context of university business education. We will discuss the design, development and facilitation of authentic assessment and reflect on the strengths and challenges that emerged from this initiative. Participants will be invited to share their questions, ideas, experiences and insights on authentic assessment practices.