The traditional form of assessment in the post-secondary course is a mid-term or final or exam. This type of assessment often fails to assess deeper forms of learning. Carefully planned assessments, on the other hand, not only evaluate what students have learned, but can motivate students in their approach to learning, helping them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and allowing them to assess their own understanding of the course content.
This is where alternative assessment or authentic assessment, comes in. Authentic or alternative
assessments, meaning an alternative to standard tests and exams, provide a true evaluation of what the student has learned, going beyond acquired knowledge to focus on what the student has actually learned by looking at their application of this knowledge (Indiana University, n.d.). Alternative forms of assessment can allow you to see what student can and cannot do, versus what they do and do not know. They tend to evaluate applied proficiency rather than measuring knowledge (Brigham Young University, n.d.), allowing for problem solving and reflection, rather than merely providing facts as answers to specific questions (Indiana University, n.d.).