An Authentic Assignment for Boosting Students’ Engagement, Confidence and Employability

Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Innovative Research in Education

Year: 2023



An Authentic Assignment for Boosting Students’ Engagement, Confidence and Employability

Gosia Płotka




Understanding the way we work and learn has been developed over the last few years. Also, the type of learners we are dealing with now has changed. That was partially, but not only, due to globalisation that, probably like everywhere around the world, brought to the UK many international students. Several studies have recently been conducted to gain more awareness about learners’ diverse needs (Nieminen, 2022). Still, many try to teach using proven practices and methods that worked well for XX-century students but do not give those studying in the XXI century what they need – appreciation for their individual needs, boost their employability or increase their engagement. An authentic assessment discussed since the 1990s is a way to address those problems by shifting from designing our learning outcomes around SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) to VASCULAR (Verifiable, Action-orientated, Singular, Constructively aligned, Understandable, Level-appropriate, Affective-inclusive, Regularly reviewed) (Race, 2020). Following Villarroel et al. (2018) application of knowledge in a real-life scenario requirement, this type of assignment aims at embedding students with the competencies required by the job market, such as critical thinking, complex problem-solving, creativity and innovation. In this presentation, we are going to look at examples of the assessment that not only give them experience but also help students to build confidence in their abilities to conquer the world they are about to face without making reasonable adjustments for individuals but by removing systematic barriers so everyone’s abilities to complete the task are based on the same criteria.

keywords: experience design, learners’ diverse needs, sense of belonging, SMART, VASCULAR