Authentic assessment for advanced undergraduate students

Mallet, Daniel G. (2007) Authentic assessment for advanced undergraduate students. Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal, 47 (EMAC2, C524-C540.


A novel assessment program was implemented in an upper level mathematical modelling subject for a small group of advanced undergraduate students of applied mathematics and engineering. The students were all enrolled in undergraduate degree programs at the selective private colleges, Harvey Mudd College and Pitzer College, in California. The subject itself was labelled Mathematics and Sport and introduced the students to various techniques and strategies of mathematical modelling and related research using a number of interesting applications of mathematics to sports.

The assessment program was designed to provide the students with authentic activities preparing them for their future work as graduate students and researchers. The program included a mock “conference day‿ for which students prepared papers and presented a seminar. The written paper and the seminar were scaffolded by instruction in such writing and presentation as well as activities to encourage free thinking and creative interpretation of problems throughout the semester.

The assessment scheme proved to be both popular with students and effective, in that continuous components prepared the students for the requirements of terminating assessment items. The students’ papers proved to be well-written, thoughtful and to some extent, illustrated the students’ development as researchers over the course of the subject. Unfortunately, the oral presentations were not of the same high standard for a number of reasons including the level of instruction in this subject and also previous experience in presenting orally.

This paper offers a description of the novel assessment program and the results of its implementation in order to provide guideposts for others confronted with similar student groups.

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ID Code: 5948
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: authentic assessment, undergraduate mathematics, college mathematics, HERN
ISSN: 1446-8735
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Education Assessment and Evaluation (130303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Australian Mathematical Society
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 09 Jan 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:40

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