Authentic Assessment Ideas

Are you still trying to figure out how to use transition activities and services and turn them into authentic transition assessments? The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) is working on a revised Transition Services and Activities Manual that will be ready this spring. Until then, here are a few ideas (and authentic assessments to go with them). 

You'll find more authentic assessments on the INSTRC Transition Assessment Matrix (

  • You have a student who likes to tinker with cars but is not sure of a career path yet. The student decides to take an automotive class as an elective. There is so much more the student (and you) will learn, beyond the grade they receive. You can use the Elective Class Reflection authentic assessment when a student completes an elective class. Take a few minutes to “de-brief” with your student to see what they learned, what piqued their interest, and/or whether or not this is an area they want to learn more about.
  • You want to use “disability awareness” or “self-advocacy” as a transition service/activity, but you’re not sure how to gauge your student’s level or knowledge or awareness of themselves. Use the IEP/Disability Awareness Checklist as both a pre- and post-assessment. It can help you see where a student currently is, which will help you plan your transition activity or service to increase their self-awareness, and/or you can use it following working on that skill to see what a student has learned.
  • One of your students is planning for college, but the task seems overwhelming for her. There are so many guides, planning workbooks, forms to fill out, tests to take, etc. To help a student gather and sort through college exploration information, have them fill out the College Planning Worksheet. You can use the information the student collects to support an age-appropriate transition assessment at the student’s next case conference.