Capstone/Dissertation Title

Authentic assessment in the social studies classroom: the student perspective

Term

2010

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Abstract

The research question addressed is, how do middle school students describe their experience when authentic assessment is integrated into a social studies unit? This capstone documents one teacher's development of an authentic assessment assignment used in a Civil War unit and the student response as to its impact on their engagement and learning. Through the research method of surveys, direct student feedback is solicited at three points in time--beginning, middle and end--of the unit. Through the survey data analysis, the author determines that authentic assessment has a significantly positive impact on student involvement and engagement with content material, encourages student refinement and improvement of their work products, helps students to understand the content material in a deeper way and is a strategy that can counter the research based negative perception students hold of social studies.

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