NAIT graduates have a reputation of being ready to enter the workforce job-ready. Hands-on learning means they’ve done the work before, and have been assessed in an authentic industry scenario.
To conduct an authentic assessment, NAIT students are asked to mimic what they will do on the job (Blumberg, 2009).
Instructor Kate Andrews and program chair Leanne Telford of the Personal Fitness Training (PFT) program both agree that instruction and assessment should reflect the actual job of a personal fitness trainer as much as possible.
PFT students are asked to deliver presentations and demonstrations, train with real clients and create a business model and social media presence. Students are also required to write and publish an article in YEG Magazine to demonstrate core communication skills and an ability to connect to people, which are fundamental skills of a personal fitness trainer. These assignments align with what the students will be doing once they are in the industry.
“Our assessments put them into the emotional spaces that they will be in everyday as a PFT but in a safe and supportive environment for learning,” says Andrews. “Students go from a 5-minute talk to a 25 minute, all-in presentation in front of a group.”
Building this confidence in front of clients is vital to the graduate’s success on the job.
“We set high expectations for authentic assessment because we know the students will rise to it,” explains Telford. “I want to continue hearing from industry that NAIT graduates are work ready and are the preferred hires because of the authentic assessments we do.”
Blumberg, P. (2009). Developing Learner-Centered Teaching: A Practical Guide for Faculty. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.