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Authentic e-learning in higher education: Design principles for authentic learning environments and tasks

Authentic e-learning in higher education: Design principles for authentic learning environments and tasks

Despite the intuitive appeal of authentic learning environments, and much anecdotal evidence that they are effective in promoting higher order learning, such complex learning environments appear to be used only rarely in higher education courses. With many learners failing to engage with didactic and outmoded instructional methods (ref), and unwilling to use technology that simply replicates the one-way transfer of information from teacher to student, authentic learning designs have the potential to improve student engagement and educational outcomes. This paper describes the origins of ‘authentic learning,’ drawing largely on the theoretical constructs of situated learning and cognitive apprenticeships, and I summarize some of its defining characteristics. It then focuses more specifically on the task as the central focus for authentic activity, and concludes with suggestions for the dissemination of good practice and theory development through design-based research.
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OncoSim and OncoWiki: an authentic learning approach to teaching cancer genomics

OncoSim and OncoWiki: an authentic learning approach to teaching cancer genomics

Methods: The teaching method developed, OncoSim, is a scaffolded ‘ Personal Research ’ module option for final year biomedical undergraduate students. It uses an authentic learning approach to teach cancer genomics via simulated cancer patient case studies that have identifiable potential therapeutic targets with associated drug therapies (so-called targeted therapy/precision oncology). In addition, these simulated case studies can be uploaded to a dedicated learning website (OncoWiki) where they can be freely downloaded and used to teach medical students the principles of targeted therapy. A preliminary evaluation of OncoSim was carried out using 3 research tools: (1) online questionnaires; (2) semi-structured interviews; and (3) analysis of whole cohort mark ranges. Thematic analysis was used to code and categorise interview data.
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Helping to keep history relevant : mulitmedia and authentic learning

Helping to keep history relevant : mulitmedia and authentic learning

However, it is important that multimedia moves beyond providing a repository for primary and secondary sources. The potential is realised when it draws on enquiry methods learning utilising investigations, critical skills and authentic learning, History with the puzzle and the intellectual satisfaction of ‘finding out’. Doon the Watter helped one pupil learn about the past ‘because of the good research and the database … I looked at how people spent their time on holiday. I looked at how people got entertainment like from bands at the band stand. I used the pictures and video to gather information on how people got there and what they did there’. Here lies a powerful justification for teaching history, not that it changes society, but as Lee (1992) argued, ‘it changes pupils; it changes what they see in the world, and how they see it…. To say that someone has learnt history is to say something very wide ranging about the way he or she is likely to make sense of the world’. In each program the design of tasks exploited the potential of technology, but the process also worked in reverse with the technology opening up new and more sophisticated lines of enquiry. Multimedia drew the pupils in to explore, enquire and investigate. Authentic learning/critical skills enhanced these processes fulfilling its potential to present ‘real life’ challenges. Moreover, historical knowledge anchored authentic learning in a context providing pupils with a scaffold on which to develop further knowledge and a wide range of skills. This avoided the potential pitfall in critical skills of decontextualising the tasks. History, therefore, provides an ideal mode for developing pupils’ skills of enquiry through the use of ICT and of ICT in terms of information literacy, a crucial skill in today’s world (Moore 2000).
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Authentic Learning: Enhancing Learners’ Academic Literacy Skills

Authentic Learning: Enhancing Learners’ Academic Literacy Skills

and conflicting perspectives, educators can help them mature their thinking and make them able to use prob- lem-solving approaches effectively. To be competitive in the global job market, students must become comfort- able with the complexities of real-world problems. Authentic learning is a departure from the tradition- al method of teaching where knowledge is delivered in a passive manner. The use of authentic tasks and activities in teaching challenges learners by presenting them with prob- lem-solving situations. Such situations impose the right cognitive constraints on the learners. For example, Brown (1997) explains the what, how and where of learning by pointing out that the what of learning is about the content and the how and where of learning are the situation and the collaborative culture and argues that the learning classrooms should be turned into learning communities where learners are actively involved in solving real-life problems. Brophy and Alleman (1991) call for attention to be directed toward tasks and activities that offer learners the opportunity to ac- quire knowledge in a way that enables them to integrate and apply the skills and knowledge acquired to achieve the de- sired goals of the curriculum. Herrington and Oliver (2000) argue that much of the abstract knowledge that learners ac- quire in the classroom is not retrievable in real-life situations to solve real-life problems. They propose authentic situa- tional learning as an alternative pedagogical framework for instruction in schools and universities.
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Authentic Learning   Does it Improve Pass Rates and Student Satisfaction?

Authentic Learning Does it Improve Pass Rates and Student Satisfaction?

Herrington (2006) asserts, “authentic learning designs have the potential to improve student engagement and educational outcomes” (p. 1). This statement directly supports what this study is trying to test and suggests that authentic learning can improve assessment success. Herrington also argues that online technologies are key to the design and creation of innovative authentic learning environments and that tasks focusing on authentic activities are highly important. He also declares that the investigation of the effectiveness of authentic learning environments needs a comprehensive approach. In his article he states, “authentic learning environments […] are effective in promoting higher order learning […] but are only rarely used in higher education courses” (p. 1). In this paper, he also touches on the foundations of the concept of authentic learning in higher education being based on research into apprenticeships and their characteristics which were critical to success. “Brown et al. (1989) argued that meaningful learning will only take place if it is embedded in the social and physical context within which it will be used” (p. 1). He also utilises the ten characteristics of authentic learning as mentioned in the article by Lombardi (2007) and concludes that “the most successful learning environments employing authentic tasks are student-oriented, offering education as a process rather than a product […] providing cognitive realism,” (p. 4). Therefore a lot of his findings and comments agree to those of Lombardi.
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Authentic Learning Experience:  Subtle But Useful Ways To Provide It In Practice

Authentic Learning Experience: Subtle But Useful Ways To Provide It In Practice

Authentic learning is conceptualised as an individualised experience learners undergo fulfilling their unique psychological as well as neurological needs. It provides a deep, more lasting experience and ideally assessed through generic attributes that are related to individual learners’ intrinsic characteristics, spanning throughout the life. Question-based lecture delivery, as author identified, is a promising methodology to engage learner in an authentic learning experience. By forming the lecture as a series of questions, it essentially has a dialectic approach to teaching. Further this methodology provides a good pace for concept delivery allowing learners to engage in constructing meaning. Additionally, it allows aligning teaching to assessment tasks more appropriately, improving the reliability of assessment. Another practice that helps authentic learning, as highlighted in this paper, is only elaborating the most important concepts or material related to a study area, within the limited time available, and thereby, in the assessment as well. This contrasts from the notion that teacher has to mention every single fact in the study area in front of the learners, possibly directing learners to strategic approaches to learning. The time factor in relation to assessment components is also an important issue, as some learners may be disadvantaged if time is not allocated with careful thought. The significance of generalised, or higher-order, learning in an authentic learning framework is presented, as the knowledge gained through this way is likely to last longer in learners’ memory and at the same time, more useful to them in a generic way, or in day to day situations. Such practices also inherently motivate learners to engage in a deep learning process. We further emphasise on motivating students by relating any study area or material to more generic processes we find in daily lives so that students get the notion of what they learn will be useful to them in future in a generic way, but not necessarily in a specific career. Use of practical work only in support of enhancing understanding of an abstract theory presented, but not otherwise, is also highlighted in promoting authentic learning experience.
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I-DIGEST framework: towards authentic learning for indigenous learners

I-DIGEST framework: towards authentic learning for indigenous learners

The novelty of this research is that it provides a standardized approach towards pro- viding authentic and relevant learning for Indigenous learners. This standardized meth- odology is missing in previous research; the I-DIGEST framework moves towards standardization through the creation of ICT tools and approaches that allow for the in- corporation of personal narratives, in the form of digital storytelling, into pre-created curriculum. The significance to these observations and findings is that if authentic learning is desired, it provides credence to the framework of designing learning with community involvement at the forefront. These steps cannot be skipped, and therefore any educational path taken by educators from outside to within an Indigenous commu- nity is a lengthy, consultative, careful, considerate, and respectful journey. It is worth mentioning that this system has been devised with Indigenous learners at the forefront, but there is no reason why this system may not be used in other environments where place-based learning environments provide an effective method of learning. Additions suggested by participants include providing an outline regarding how to tell a story and the key components of storytelling from an Indigenous perspective for learners before they embark on adding content. It cannot be assumed that all students are technically-savvy and innately know what creating a digital story entails, particularly some of the issues and concerns that are raised regarding privacy, security and ethics from within and beyond a community.
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A cross‐faculty simulation model for authentic learning

A cross‐faculty simulation model for authentic learning

Rule's themes for authentic learning provided an effective framework for analysing the experience of stakeholders participating in the inter-disciplinary simulation model described here. The stakeholder opinions showed a good fit to Rule's framework, and we conclude that the simulation model was effective in providing students with an opportunity to develop the professional aspects of their subject area. In addition to the themes from Rule, two findings are important: it is valuable for participants to retain some awareness of simulation as a learning opportunity, and also to have sufficient confidence in playing their role. If these conditions are met, the extended nature of this simulation model effectively bridges the gap between short group-based simulations within the classroom and longer individual placements in professional working contexts. We hope that others can adopt this inter- disciplinary model of facilitating relationships between students and academic clients as a way to create authentic learning experiences for students.
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I-SLATE: designing a culturally relevant framework for authentic learning

I-SLATE: designing a culturally relevant framework for authentic learning

Hartnell-Young and Vetere (2008) identify that creating narratives that intertwine trad- itional literacies (for example, oral traditions) with new literacies (for example, storytelling via a mobile phone), has the potential for crossing boundaries between school and social contexts, which potentially allows students to include their uniquely cultural experiences to the curriculum, and conversely to take the knowledge from the curriculum to a broader social arena. The authors identify that to ensure a smoother integration of Indigenous knowledge in to formalized Western-based curriculum, pedagogical methods and best prac- tices for applying them have to be identified. Pumpa et al. (2006) created a proof-of-concept prototype for archiving Indigenous knowledge in a digital landscape. As future work, the authors identified that the collaborative techniques used to create this content require more formalized research methodologies. Rathwell et al. (2015) identify that very little research has been performed in the area of incorporating contextual knowledge, such as Indigenous knowledge, into some kind of pedagogical framework. Further to this concept, Harrison and Greenfield (2011) identified that there was a need to define how teachers might incorp- orate “ Indigenous knowledge ” rather than “ Indigenous perspectives ” in their programs. The authors describe it as “ to weave Aboriginal knowledge into the fabric ” of the learning process in order to provide authentic learning opportunities for this style of learner. Rathwell et al. (2015) refer to this as “bridging” knowledge systems, for example, between Western and Indigenous knowledge, and identify this area of bridging Western knowledge and Indigenous knowledge as requiring more research, particularly in the area of multi- disciplinary research that identify how knowledge systems are conceptualized.
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A Study of Developing an Attitude Scale Towards Authentic Learning Environments and Evaluation

A Study of Developing an Attitude Scale Towards Authentic Learning Environments and Evaluation

In authentic learning, the evaluation of the task assigned to the students through classical assessment methods such as multiple choice tests, written or oral exams will not provide sufficient information about the process. On the other hand, the evaluation of the authentic tasks given to the student should be continuous from the beginning of the process until the final stage of the production. The most effective method in evaluating the process is the use of alternative assessment tools (Kılıç, 2014). Not only the cognitive but also the affective and psychomotor developments of the students should be evaluated as a whole. The use of alternative assessment evaluation techniques such as portfolio, concept maps, self or peer evaluation, poster and interviews are recommended in the evaluation of high-level cognitive features of the students such as data collection, analysis and presentation of the results (Küçüktepe, 2010; Kılıç, 2014). In authentic evaluation, it is important for the students to perform, produce and share the tasks. It is essential to measure the performance of the student and to examine the formation process of the resulting product entirely (Tan, 2009). Authentic evaluation requires much more time than classical evaluation techniques, and therefore the evaluation needs to be well planned. If the teacher is inexperienced or he/she has a lack of knowledge about authentic evaluation, the evaluation then will be ineffective. Here, the teacher is expected to be well-equipped and a good mentor to direct the students (Fer and Cırık, 2007). Teachers play a crucial role in establishing and evaluating authentic learning environments. In this context, determining the teachers' attitudes towards authentic learning will be an important reference for the development of new curricula. The aim of this study is to develop a valid and reliable attitude scale for the determination of science teacher candidates’ attitudes towards authentic learning environments and its evaluation. 2. Method
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The Effect of Authentic Learning Approach in Social Studies Teaching on the Academic Success

The Effect of Authentic Learning Approach in Social Studies Teaching on the Academic Success

Authentic learning is one of the areas of study attracting more and more attention, although it is not a new insight [9, 12]. As literature is examined it is seen that there have been done researches in maths [14, 15]; Turkish [16, 17]; history [18]; visual arts [19]; science [12]; English [20]; life studies [8] and social studies courses [7, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25] based on authentic learning. Also in some of the researches involve authentic learning activities achieved during teacher training period [2, 26, 27, 28, 29]. İneç [25] in his research states that authentic learning provides benefit at materializing abstract subjects. Herrington, Parker & Boase-Jelinek [30] attracts attention that authentic learning is important in terms of presenting students the opportunity of real life duties as well as high level thinking and doing an act. On the other hand Akça & Ata [18] says authentic learning should be applied more at point of overcoming rote learning understanding. It is also seen that conducted studies are intensely suitable to qualitative research paradigm. In this research, quantitative research approach has been adopted. Unlike other studies, this study was carried out simultaneously in 3 different secondary schools with different socioeconomic status. In this study, it is aimed to determine the impact of authentic learning activities on learning of students with different socioeconomic status.
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Authentic learning supported by technology: 10 suggestions and cases of integration in classrooms

Authentic learning supported by technology: 10 suggestions and cases of integration in classrooms

In the next section, each principle is described in brief and examples from a range of classroom contexts are given of how it can be employed with thoughtful and creative use of readily available technologies. While just one principle is the focus of each of the sections, ideally any learning environment should consider all aspects in its design to ensure maximum effect. These principles form the basis of nine of the ten suggestions in this paper for transforming your ideas about authentic learning into classroom practice using technology. The last suggestion is an overall one that is critical to any teacher’s professional practice but one that itself can also be facilitated by technology: ongoing professional learning and development.
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The impact on values and learning behaviours of engineering students from an authentic learning environment: preliminary analysis and observations

The impact on values and learning behaviours of engineering students from an authentic learning environment: preliminary analysis and observations

The restructure of the course utilised real-life case studies in developing professional and information literacy skills within an authentic learning environment. During Semester 1 (S1), 2008, a 7 weeks experiment was conducted in the library with the assistance of the librarian using a small sample of about 10 on-campus students. The curriculum design evolved from a “knowledge-transfer” approach to a project-based learning approach using information literacy and synthesis mechanisms. Genuine consulting work was recruited for the students in which they earned $500 for delivering a failure-analysis report on “Corrosion of leach-tank in Mineral Processing”. The students found themselves immersed in the research and problem solving, saw the relevance to their future engineering career. The experiment indicated the students were encouraged to explore and break from their entrenched behaviours. However, it was observed that the newly taught behaviours quickly became entrenched itself when new contexts for problem solving were presented. This does suggest a resistance to sustainable change in behaviours, perhaps governed by strong values (whatever it may be) when it comes to their study approaches.
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Authentic learning on the web: Guidelines for course design

Authentic learning on the web: Guidelines for course design

In response to the growing influence of constructivism as a philosophical approach to learning, and a wide range of research studies investigating alternative models of teaching and learning over the last decade, many universities have experimented with the development of ‘authenticlearning environments. How successful they have been in this quest is a subject of some debate. For instance, Gayeski (2005) has argued: ‘Many of today’s programs are no better than those from the early days of interactive video—in fact, they are worse. We still see too many textbooks or PowerPoint slides “ported” over to the web with a few links or silly questions added to make them “interactive”’ (p. 98).
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The reality of authentic learning in virtual worlds

The reality of authentic learning in virtual worlds

An early example of a build that embeds authentic learning would be the River City Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE), which was developed in 2000 to teach middle school students how to conduct a scientific investiga- tion with topics relevant to biological and epidemiological inquiries. The stu- dents, posed as visitors to the fictional River City set in the nineteenth century. Working in small groups, they were tasked with discovering why the city was so afflicted by disease. They were required to construct an experiment to test a hypothesis they devised. They could interact with a variety of characters, such as a university professor who delivered pertinent lectures, and an investiga- tive reporter who prompted them to reflect on their findings. As Agostinho (2006) reported, the use of characters to present significant data can be a useful strategy in virtual environments. The students learned how to use scientific instruments, and at the end of the process delivered their findings to their class in a simulated academic conference. The MUVE was connected to a database that collected information about the activities of individual students for forma- tive assessment. During immersion in the MUVE, students became scientists: they learned the underlying principles of the subject, acquired the investigative skills and processes used by scientists, devised and carried out explorations to test their hypotheses, and understood why these investigations are so weighty (Dieterle & Clarke, 2007). In other words, students learned about science by being scientists. Rather than utilizing the usual didactic methods of knowledge transfer, the River City curriculum supported learners as they began talking within the community of scientists. In this way, newcomers became part of a community of practice through the configuration of the meaning of learning and by engaging their intent to learn (Dieterle & Clarke, 2007; Rosenbaum, et al., 2007). Immersion in a virtual environment can allow learners to acquire firsthand those skills, procedures, and facts that characterize their future pro- fessions. These include professional capabilities such as personal responsibility, the ability to work effectively in teams, professional ethics, client or patient care, and risk management (Barton, McKellar, & Maharg, 2007).
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Authentic Learning in the Kitchen and Garden:
Synthesising planning, practice and pedagogy

Authentic Learning in the Kitchen and Garden: Synthesising planning, practice and pedagogy

Kolb’s experiential learning theory also comes under the constructivist paradigm. In his seminal and influential work on experiential pedagogy, Kolb (1984) theorises that in order to be an effective learner, you needed to go through four stages of learning: “Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience” (1984 p. 41). The principle of knowledge generation being transformative is still relevant thirty years on. The initial concrete experiences need to be reflected on then abstract conceptions made from these reflections and observations, resulting in the formation of concepts. The abstract conceptions or theories that evolve should be tested. This may involve testing the model or theory. Trialling it in decision making, problem solving or experimenting, results in another revolution of the cycle. This cycle of experiential learning applies to all learners, and although they may enter at any stage, ideally, they would touch all bases in a learning cycle. Kolb’s model is based on two intersecting continuums, the processing continuum (how we approach a task for example preferring to learn by watching or doing) and the perception continuum (our emotional response for example preferring to learn through feeling or thinking). These intersecting axes form the basis for the four prevalent learning styles shown in the following
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The reality of authentic learning in virtual worlds

The reality of authentic learning in virtual worlds

As the authors discuss, part of the difficulty lies in designing an interface that scaffolds the motivational and learning goals of a specific virtual world. Simplistic authoring shells have the virtue of easy usage, but this comes at the cost of having features beyond basic chat and graphics. To develop richly detailed simulated real-world situations with challenges that can be resolved through applying academic knowledge and skills, more sophisticated features are neces- sary, such as simulating data collection or enabling shared representations among team members (Kafai & Dede, 2014). Our work with immersive digital ecosystems demonstrates that such authenticity sometimes requires custom programming beyond what even a high-end gaming shell like Unity provides (Metcalf, Kamarainen, Tutwiler, Grotzer, & Dede, 2011). These advanced affor- dances also enable individual learners to customize (Dede, 2012a; Warschauer & Matuchniak, 2010). This anthology notes how important this personalization is in providing access to the broadest possible range of learners.
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An Authentic Learning Environment Based on Video Project among Arabic Learners

An Authentic Learning Environment Based on Video Project among Arabic Learners

3. In addition, when students come for supervisory purposes assignment, they discovered new words but they had difficulty pronouncing them properly. Researchers provided assistance and let them practice the correct pronunciation before the recording started. In this part, students were motivated to meet their lecturers and discuss closely about their learning problems and find a solution. Students with this motive were categorized as using metacognitive strategy by looking for people he/she can talk to in second language (Oxford, 1987).

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Wikipedia as an Authentic Learning Space

Wikipedia as an Authentic Learning Space

An interactive and thought-provoking session, ―Make it Pop: Integrating Visual Literacy into Your Teaching ‗Songbook‘ ‖ used the ACRL Visual Literacy and Competency Standards to demonstrate how to enhance instruction activities. Presented by Kaila Bussert (Cornell University), Ann Medaille (University of Nevada, Reno), and Nicole E. Brown (New York University), this session had three active learning activities that could be used in various levels of library instruction. The first activity showed how the brain processes visual information differently from textual information and introduced the concept of the pic- ture superiority effect. The audience was asked to create a vis- ual representation that correlated to the question: ―How many books can you check out?‖ If the answer is ―Unlimited‖, a slide with a picture of a huge, overflowing stack of books is more meaningful and deeply processed than a slide with just text stat- ing ―As many as you need!‖
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TEACHER PROFESSIONAL GROWTH IN AN AUTHENTIC LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

TEACHER PROFESSIONAL GROWTH IN AN AUTHENTIC LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

seeing the results of his work, he responded to the questions concerning future plans that he intended to continue on the course he had already begun. Several of the teachers I worked with before and during the period of actual data collection for the action research participated off and of in project work as their circumstances, both personal and professional allowed. It wasn’t always easy for any one particular classroom teacher to be able to engage in such a project each and every year. Professional assignments change, personal circumstances intervene. One of my colleagues desperately wanted to participate but just didn’t have timetable that particular year that made participation easier. Another one didn’t have a class ready to deal with challenges participation was likely to pose. A third became quite sick at the very beginning of the research period and had to take an extended medical leave. Needless to say, just like in any group of students, there were those who set out with the best of intentions and didn’t even complete the process to conclusion. One of the most important conclusions of my research was this idea of the consultant as teacher and the importance of seeing the on-going organization and facilitation of professional development of teachers through the lens of classroom instruction and learning as it effects students in desks. This is one observation and conclusion that would not have been made, I am sure, if not for the fact that this was action-based research.
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