This special edition of Education + Training is motivated by the broadly identified skill shortage and the employability gap between educational institutes and industry, non-completion of apprenticeships, and health and safety concerns resulting from short training periods and inexperience in the early career stage; all of which offer significant indications of the need for improvement. These factors can be improved with ‘authentic assessment’ – the design and application of assessment tasks that closely mirror the real-life situations that students will one day find themselves in. Authentic assessment can also be used to replace dangerous or unsafe on-the-job training and be used to manage and develop worker skills over time.
As authentic assessment is a valuable but underutilised approach, this Special Issue of Education and Training asks: how can authentic assessment enhance vocational training? What pedagogical changes need to be made to reduce the skills gap with authentic assessment?
Particularly, we are interested in papers that address the following topics; however, other, related papers are also welcomed:
• Technology-enhanced skills training
• Health and safety enhancement in vocational settings
• Continuous professional development
• Workplace scenario simulation
• Balancing efficiency of training with effectiveness of outcomes
• Capturing real-world or system complexity in the classroom environment
• Stress and pressure with ‘extraordinary events’; i.e., those that are improbable but which may have significant impact on the organisation
• Gamification, serious games, and business games as aids to student engagement
• Authentic skills training assessment
• Continuous skills evaluation and management in an organisational context