Authentic Assessments: A Critical thinking and Engagement Tool for Online Courses
The purpose of this qualitative research study is to explore how authentic assessments are used by online instructors in an effort to achieve a better understanding of authentic assessment strategies, techniques, and processes used for college-level online courses. The study is a result of conducting interviews to instructors regarding their experiences in the use of authentic assessments in their online courses. The findings strongly suggested that using authentic assessments encourage critical thinking and engagement when used in discussion forum, writing assignments, and problem based assignments. On the use of authentic assessment for achieving program and institutional effectiveness in online learning, the findings in the study strongly suggested that the use of authentic assessments contributed to improving credibility at the program and institutional levels. The study highlighted the need for institutions to support faculty in developing assessments for online courses by providing the needed incentives, training and professional development that will help instructors gain fluency in the design and development of authentic assessment that will equip online students with critical thinking skills necessary to meet the challenges they will face after graduation.