The emergence of Web 2.0-enabled social media online provides a new opportunity to develop assessments that match with, and draw upon students' engagement with online knowledge networking, creating new possibilities for 'authenticity' in assessment.
Authentic assessment refers both to the alignment of assessment with the actual outcomes of students' learning, and to the utilisation in assessment of approximations of real-world situations within which knowledgeable activity might take place. In both cases, student learning is assumed to be intimately connected with the manner in which they are assessed, and that students will be more highly motivated to learn if their assessment is authentic. The emergence recently of Web 2.0-enabled social media online provides a new opportunity to develop assessments that match with, and draw upon students' engagement with online knowledge networking, creating new possibilities for 'authenticity'. Matthew Allen will briefly review why an assessment-driven focus on online learning is important, and how authenticity might be developed in a world of social media, before presenting several examples of current and proposed assessment practice in an undergraduate Internet Communications course. While the examples demonstrate the importance for assessment practice of the particular disciplinary and professional context provided by the subject matter of students' learning, these examples will also show how the use of Web 2.0 in blended and online learning can more generally be based on real-world knowledge production, in knowledge networks, that bridge the growing gap between formal and informal learning via the Internet.