Project based assessment as a tool for evaluating student learning: an evaluative analysis of classroom procedures

Authentic assessment has long been an interest to the researcher. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the practice of authentic assessment and peer assessment in the classroom by comparing project based assessment with traditional assessment models. Quantitative methods were used to collect data. Specifically one class at a middle school was given a project based test and participated in peer assessment reading groups to evaluate the project based test. The same period was then given a traditional test. The students participated in a pre-test survey and a post-test survey. The findings were presented by analyzing the quantitative data generated from the test and the survey. Data analysis showed student preference to authentic assessment, more students believed they retained knowledge following authentic assessment with a peer assessment component, and students performed better using the project based assessment model. Future long term studies tracking student performance utilizing authentic assessment would benefit the research base. KEYWORDS: authentic assessment, evaluate, peer assessment, project based assessment, traditional assessment.