Chapter 5. Assessment

Authentic Assessment

Authentic assessment is a type of assessment in which the student is asked to perform real-world tasks, and demonstrate a meaningful application of skills and competencies. Authentic assessment lies at the heart of training today’s aviation student to use critical thinking skills. Rather than selecting from predetermined responses, students must generate responses from skills and concepts they have learned. By using open-ended questions and established performance criteria, authentic assessment focuses on the learning process, enhances the development of real-world skills, encourages higher order thinking skills (HOTS), and teaches students to assess their own work and performance.

Collaborative Assessment

There are several aspects of effective authentic assessment. The first is the use of open-ended questions in what might be called a “collaborative critique,” which is a form of student-centered grading. As described in the scenario that introduced this chapter, the instructor begins by using a four-step series of open-ended questions to guide the student through a complete self-assessment.

Replay—ask the student to verbally replay the flight or procedure. Listen for areas in which the instructor’s perceptions differ from the student’s perceptions, and discuss why they do not match. This approach gives the student a chance to validate his or her own perceptions, and it gives the instructor critical insight into his or her judgment abilities.

Reconstruct—the reconstruction stage encourages the student to learn by identifying the key things that he or she would have, could have, or should have done differently during the flight or procedure.

Reflect—insights come from investing perceptions and experiences with meaning, requiring reflection on the events. For example:

  • What was the most important thing you learned today?
  • What part of the session was easiest for you? What part was hardest?
  • Did anything make you uncomfortable? If so, when did it occur?
  • How would you assess your performance and your decisions?
  • Did you perform in accordance with the PTS?

Redirect—the final step is to help the student relate lessons learned in this session to other experiences, and consider how they might help in future sessions. Questions:

  • How does this experience relate to previous lessons?
  • What might be done to mitigate a similar risk in a future situation?
  • Which aspects of this experience might apply to future situations, and how?
  • What personal minimums should be established, and what additional proficiency flying and/or training might be useful?

The purpose of the self-assessment is to stimulate growth in the student’s thought processes and, in turn, behaviors. The self-assessment is followed by an in-depth discussion between the instructor and the student, which compares the instructor’s assessment to the student’s self-assessment. Through this discussion, the instructor and the student jointly determine the student’s progress on a rubric. As explained earlier, a rubric is a guide for scoring performance assessments in a reliable, fair, and valid manner. It is generally composed of dimensions for judging student performance, a scale for rating performances on each dimension, and standards of excellence for specified performance levels.

The collaborative assessment process in student-centered grading uses two broad rubrics: one that assesses the student’s level of proficiency on skill-focused maneuvers or procedures, and one that assesses the student’s level of proficiency on single-pilot resource management (SRM), which is the cognitive or decision-making aspect of flight training.

The performance assessment dimensions for each type of rubric are as follows:

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