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10 Characteristics of Authentic Learning Activities

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emc lcc

on 25 August 2013

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Transcript of 10 Characteristics of Authentic Learning Activities

10 Characteristics of Authentic Learning Activities
II. Provide authentic activities and tasks.
What Is Authentic Activity?
I. Have real-world relevance.
Conclusion
Provide authentic contexts that reflect the way the knowledge will be used in real life.

Checklist:

Does the context of the course represent the kind of setting where the skill or knowledge is applied?
Is the pathway students take through the learning environment flexible, where students are able to move around at will?

An activity similar to one students are likely to encounter in the outside world.

Experiences of personal relevance that permit learners to practice skills in environments similar to those in which the skills will be used. 

Real-world tasks that a person can expect to encounter on the job, in the home, or in other social contexts.

Students have their own roles similar to those found in a real-world team at work, at play, or in other collaborative social contexts.

The instructor acts as a coach and facilitator, supporting students as they accomplish authentic tasks.
Activities and tasks are ill-defined, requiring students to define the tasks and sub-tasks needed to complete the activity. Comprise complex tasks to be investigated by students over a sustained period of time.

Checklist:
Do the activities and tasks mirror the kind of activities and tasks performed in real-world applications?
Is the activity presented as an over-arching complex problem (or series of small sub-steps) that is worked on over a longer period of time?
Do students work on the activity and tasks for weeks rather than minutes or hours?
Are students able to choose information from a variety of inputs, including relevant and irrelevant sources?
III. Provide access to expert performances and the modeling of processes.
Checklist:

Does the learning environment provide access to expert skill and opinion from a variety of sources? (Note: The instructor won’t necessarily provide all those.)
Does the learning environment allow access to other learners at various stages of expertise? (E.g. Putting students in groups or letting them work with a mentor.)
Are the students able to hear and share stories about professional practice?
IV. Provide multiple roles and perspectives.
Provide the opportunity for students to examine the tasks from different perspectives, using a variety of resources.

Checklist:

Are students able to explore issues from different points of view?
Are students able to use a wide variety of learning resources and materials (not just a single textbook)?
VIII. Tasks are seamlessly integrated with assessment.
Provide for authentic assessment of learning within the tasks.

Checklist:
Are students assessed on the product of the investigation rather than by separate testing?
Are there multiple assessment measures rather than a single measure?
V. Provide the opportunity to collaborate.
Support collaborative construction of knowledge

Checklist:

Are students able to collaborate (rather than simply co-operate on tasks)?
Are grades given for group effort of a whole product, rather than individual effort?
VI. Provide the opportunity to reflect.
Promote reflection to enable abstractions to be formed

Checklist:

Are students required to make decisions about how to complete the task? (reflection-in-action)
Are students able to move freely in the environment and return to any element to act upon reflection? Non-linear.
Can students compare their thoughts and ideas to experts, teachers, guides, and to other students?
Do students work in collaborative groups that enable discussion and social reflection?
VII. Promote articulation to encourage students to verbalize their knowledge and thinking.
Articulation enables tacit knowledge to be made explicit. Provide opportunities for students to articulate the knowledge they gained.

Checklist:
Does the task require students to discuss and articulate beliefs and growing understanding?
Does the environment provide collaborative groups and forums to enable articulation of ideas?
Does the task require the creation of a polished product that requires presentation of thought and argument?
Does the task enable presentation and defense of arguments?
IX. Create polished products.
Create polished products valuable in their own right rather than as preparation for something else. Allow competing solutions and diverse outcomes.

Checklist:
Are products of performances polished and refined rather than incomplete or rushed drafts?
Do students participate in the activity for extended periods of time?
X. Provide coaching and scaffolding at critical times.
Instructor does not attempt to ‘transmit’ knowledge. Instructor’s role is supporting rather than didactic.

Checklist:
Is the teacher’s role more supportive than didactic?
Are more knowledgeable students able to assist with coaching (by how the learning environment/context is setup)?
Is a teacher, guide, or helper available to provide contextualized support?
1. Have real-world relevance.
2. Provide authentic activities and tasks.
3. Provide access to expert performances and the modeling of processes.
4. Provide multiple roles and perspectives.
5. Provide the opportunity to collaborate.
6. Provide the opportunity to reflect.
7. Promote articulation to encourage students to verbalize their knowledge and thinking.
8. Tasks are seamlessly integrated with assessment.
9. Create polished products.
10. Provide coaching and scaffolding at critical times.
10 Characteristics of Authentic Learning Activities
The essence of the authentic learning experience
Adapted from Reeves, T. C., Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (2002). Authentic activity as a model for web-based learning. 2002 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, USA.
http://authenticlearning.info/AuthenticLearning/Home.html
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