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The Biostatistics (BST) Department at the University of Kentucky's College of Public Health (CPH) is hosting workshops that cover various aspects of teaching. The first of these is on authentic assessment and will be presented by Dr. Amanda Ellis, Assistant Professor in the BST department.

These workshops are ;open for all CPH faculty, staff, and graduate students.

The assessment of learning is an integral part of the classroom experience. It provides instructors a way to determine if students are mastering the course material and meeting the course learning objectives. Students’ approach to learning in a course will likely be based on the types of assessments utilized.

In the words of higher education scholar John Biggs, “What and how students learn depends to a major extent on how they think they will be assessed.” Authentic assessments present students with meaningful problems and questions that challenge them to transfer what they learned to an “authentic” situation as professionals in the field.

The need for authentic assessments increases as students are demonstrating customer-like behavior and are now demanding even more ‘value’ from Higher Education institutions (Tomlinson, 2017; Woodall et al., 2014). Researchers argue that consumer-like behavior shifts the common goal of higher education from mastering content knowledge towards gaining practical skills that align with future employment prospects (Zhai et al., 2017).

Authentic assessments allow educators to assess if students can apply the skills gained in the classroom to future employment. By challenging students with these types of assessments, educators can help students formulate an approach to learning that will better prepare them for the workforce.

Here we will discuss authentic assessments in general and the implementation of authentic assessments in graduate-level biostatistics courses, and invite others to share their experience with authentic assessment.

For additional information, contact Jennifer Daddysman in the Biostatistics Department for the Zoom link and passcode.