Authentic learning can be seen as a teaching method, that allows a student to discuss, connect concepts and relationships that has relevance to the real-world and explore and learn something that is genuine, meaningful and real to a student (Donovan, Bransford, & Pellegrino, 1999).
Scenario: The activity includes students from a gr.9 Technology class. In the activity the teacher was approached by The South African Sugar Industry. The students are requested to draw up a campaign to reach out to the community on all the facts about where sugar comes from. The first part of the activity is to educate the community of sugar use in South Africa. The learners can do the following research for example: Find out who the founder is? Where does sugar come from? Research sugar cane by-products The processing of sugar Identify sugar Mills in South Africa Research different forms of sugar
The second part of the task, The South African Sugar Industry wants to create awareness of the important aspects of sugar as part of a healthy balanced diet. Learners can do research on the following for example: How much sugar is needed in our diet. The food pyramid. Work out a healthy balanced eating plan that includes sugar.
Authentic tasks is a reflection of what a task should involve and must provide knowledge from a real-life experience. Learners are engaged in a real-life experience, they are motivated to find out and research aspects of The South African Sugar industry.
authentic activities are relatively undefined and open to multiple interpretations, requiring students to identify for themselves the tasks and subtasks needed to complete the major task. Learners should interpret the goal of the authentic task given about The SA Sugar Industry by identifying different research aspects to complete the main task given.
An authentic task should be completed over a sustained period of time, rather than a series of shorter periods of time. Learners should be granted a longer period of time to complete an authentic task given by the educator. The authentic task given to the learners will have a period of 3 weeks, so the learners have 3 weeks to complete the task, so that relevant information and good research discovered can be used to complete the task successfully.
The learners are given the opportunity to divide themselves into small work groups by using a variety of classroom resources like the following: Books, newspapers, magazines, quality internet resources, learners can contact experts on the related topic by phone, or email or even seeing them in person this will help learners to select relevant information rather than irrelevant information that they researched.
Learners should be engaged in discussion, gather or share research on the topic. The true power of authentic learning is the ability to actively involve students together to relate to a better understanding of the topic. Authentic tasks should address a group, by working for example in pairs of 2-4 students rather than an individual student alone. The ability of working in groups together create higher-order thinking skills like analysing, evaluating, etcetera and this will produce more relevant and creative ideas all together for the task given.
Authentic activities should enable learners to make choices and reflect on their learning, both individually and as a team or community. Students should act upon reflection. Students should reflect on the online learning environment as well. The learners should reflect on all research done on The South African sugar industry and share their reflection with other students.
Tasks encourage interdisciplinary perspectives and enable diverse roles and expertise rather than a single well-defined field or domain. The authentic task given to the learners about The South African Sugar Industry includes the integration of subjects like: History Maths Science Geography Technology
Assessment is not merely summative in authentic activities but is woven seamlessly into the major task in a manner that reflects real-world evaluation processes. By collaborating with others the students are involved in integrated assessment in groups the learners have the ability to look at different aspects of The South African Sugar Industry. Individual assessment will not work this authentic task enquires one’s own initiative, and by gathering and sharing research learners will have the ability to read, write and collect information at the same time.
Authentic tasks should be a creation of a whole new idea of a topic rather than a step by step preparation or just merely an exercise given to the learners to complete. Learners should be able to create their own ideas and use own initiative for the research of The South African Sugar Industry campaign.
An authentic task should have no limits in rules, regulations or procedures. In the authentic task given I will not limit the learners to any research rules so that the learners can have a diversity of outcomes to achieve during the campaign of The South African Sugar Industry task given.
Authentic Learning. (n.d). Available from: http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Experiential_Learning&Template=/TaggedPage /TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=24&ContentID=4697. Accessed 20 February 2012). Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong. (c2005). Available from: http://www.authentictasks.uow.edu.au/framework.html. (Accessed 20 February 2012). Gram, T. (2009). Designing Authentic Learning Tasks. Available from: http://gramconsulting.com/2009/05/designing-authentic-learning-tasks/. (Accessed 20 February 2012). Herrington, J., Oliver, R., Reeves, T.C. (2004). A Development Research Agenda for Online Collaborative Learning. (Vol. 52, p. 53-65). Herrington, J ., Oliver, R., Reeves, T.C. (2002). Authentic activities and online learning. Available from: http://learnatics.sydneyinstitute.wikispaces.net/file/view/Reeves.pdf. (Accessed 20 February 2012). Lombardi M. Marilyn. (c2007). Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An Overview. Available from: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI3009.pdf. (Accessed 20 February 2012). Mims, C . (2003). Authentic Learning: A Practical Introduction & Guide for Implementation. Available from: http://www.ncsu.edu/meridian/win2003/authentic_learning/3.html. (Accessed 20 February 2012).