The instrumental case study reported here adds to the literature on authentic assessment by illuminating how one secondary agricultural education instructor employed authentic assessment in the agricultural mechanics laboratory. The study was underpinned by the constructivist notion of authentic learning and assessment, or allowing students to perform what they can do. Multiple sources of data regarding assessment practices were collected from an exemplary secondary agricultural mechanics instructor who demonstrated model authentic assessment behavior by (1) setting high and fair expectations for students, (2) establishing a progressive hierarchy of skills for students to master, (3) providing continuous feedback so that students had knowledge of their progress, and (4) being committed deeply to students’ success. The four themes resonated with previous literature and provided the foundation for a pragmatic model of authentic assessment in the secondary agricultural mechanics laboratory. Future research should focus on refining the model of authentic assessment in agricultural mechanics for a larger audience, as case studies are limited in their ability to generalize. Additionally, research should be conducted to determine how authentic assessment impacts student performance on Oklahoma Agricultural Power and Technology competency examinations.
Blackburn, J., & Kelsey, K. D. (2013). Understanding Authentic Assessment in a Secondary Agricultural Mechanics Laboratory: An Instrumental Case Study. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 1(1), 1. https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jhse/vol1/iss1/1
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