Authentic assessment in seafarer education: using literature review to investigate its validity and reliability through rubrics

Samrat Ghosh*, Marcus Bowles, Dev Ranmuthugala, Ben Brooks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


With the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention 1995 (STCW’95) moving seafarer training towards outcome-based education (OBE), emphasis has shifted to assessment practices that will allow seafarer students to demonstrate their ability to perform workplace tasks at standards described in the STCW Code. This paper argues that authentic assessment comprising of performance-based tasks applied in real-world and meaningful contexts can provide a holistic approach to competence assessment for seafarers. But, authentic assessment can capture essential aspects of workplace tasks and result in consistency of student performance in different contexts only if they are valid and reliable. Rubrics as assessment tools are known to increase validity and reliability of assessments; however, it can do so only if different aspects of its own validity and reliability have been addressed. A literature review undertaken for this paper has uncovered an absence of academic investigation and empirical study on the different aspects of validity and reliability of authentic assessment through assessment rubrics. Moreover, there exists an even greater absence of global research on authentic assessment in the area of seafarer training. Through an investigation of authentic assessment, this research has uncovered the importance of using valid and reliable rubrics in order to improve not only the assessment process but also the tools and methods used to support the valid, reliable, and authentic assessment of outcomes achieved in the learning process. Future research aims to offer insights into improving the validity and reliability of rubrics and to empirically investigate how they can be used in authentic assessment within the confines of the STCW Code, in particular, to improve seafarer training practices, student engagement, resulting learning outcomes, and employer and regulator satisfaction with the attainment of the standards stipulated in the STCW Code to produce an evidence of competence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-336
Number of pages20
JournalWMU Journal of Maritime Affairs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • authentic assessment
  • reliability
  • rubrics
  • seafarer education and training
  • validity


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