Blackboard Ultra - Authentic Assessment

When to Use?

This article is a resource for faculty that are interested in learning more about Authentic Assessment. It provides instructors with a consolidated list of tools and best practices for transforming a course beyond traditional exams or research papers to more authentic assessments.


Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center
Guided by the ideals of liberal education and the principles of inclusive excellence, the Pew FTLC strengthens the university in carrying out its primary mission of teaching and learning. Our programs and services foster dialogue and community-building around teaching for all faculty, regardless of rank or career stage. In addition to learning communities, mentoring programs, grants and conferences, we are available for individual confidential consultations. Contact us at

Meet the eLearning Team
Our eLearning Technologies team includes Instructional Designers, Instructional Technology Project Specialists, Digital Media Developers, System Analysts, and Graduate Assistants dedicated to eLearning at GVSU. You can find your assigned eLearning Technologies liaison on our eLearning Technologies Support by Colleges website or by using the eLearning Liaison Search Tool.

While you're welcome to reach out via email or phone, you can also use our Service Portal to submit a request for a consultation appointment — which will be automatically sent to your assigned eLearning Technologies team member.

Attend our Blackboard Ultra Webinars and Trainings
The eLearning team will be available to help with Blackboard Learn Ultra, as well as other eLearning Technologies tools. Our training comes in various formats to meet every one's scheduling needs, so be sure to bookmark our eLearning Training and Webinar page.

What is Authentic Assessment?
“An ‘authentic assessment’ is a task focused on students using and applying knowledge and skills to a ‘real-world’ problem or a plausible situation, to give the assessment a sense of authenticity. They reflect projects and challenges that individuals might encounter in their discipline or future career. Authentic assessment allows for students to demonstrate skills and attributes beyond the learning outcomes and mastery of knowledge of the program or discipline. It often requires students to create unique responses rather than select from existing options. This makes the assessment more meaningful and applicable, as well as challenging students to think creatively and independently.

Some of the key characteristics of authentic assessment include:

  • Professional context or subject: The assessment is designed around a scenario or context relating to the subject or professional area. This can include adopting a role, a real-life event, professional context, or an unfolding incident.
  • Complex and multifaceted: They often involve interlinking tasks that require individuals to integrate and apply their knowledge and skills to solve complex problems.
  • Process-oriented: They can focus on the process of learning and problem-solving, allowing for ongoing feedback and revision rather than relying on the final submission.
  • Student-centered: Authentic assessment encourages students to take ownership of their learning, fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter and encourages reflection.
  • Multiple methods: Authentic assessment outcomes and methods can vary widely, including projects, portfolios, presentations, simulations, debates, case studies, and more. The choice of method depends on the specific learning objectives and the nature of the subject matter.” (Community Administrator, 2023)

Authentic Assessment Resources and Tools

Self-Guided Tutorials

Blackboard Knowledge Base Articles

Digital Skills Services


Suskie, L. A. (2018). Assessing student learning: a common sense guide / Linda Suskie. Jossey-Bass,a Wiley Brand.

Carriveau, R. S. (2016). Connecting the dots : Developing student learning outcomes and outcomes-based assessment. Taylor & Francis Group.

Walvoord, B. E. F. (2009). Effective grading: a tool for learning and assessment in college / Barbara E.

Community Administrator (2023, October 24). What is Authentic Assessment? Anthology Community Insights & Innovation Blog.

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Article ID: 19697
Fri 5/24/24 10:03 AM
Fri 5/24/24 11:33 AM