Designing Authentic Activities for Web-based Courses
edited by: Margaret Driscoll, Thomas C. Reeves
Influenced by constructivist philosophy and advances in technology, there is increasing interest in authentic activities as a basis for learning in both face-to-face and web-based courses. Whereas traditionally, activities have primarily served as vehicles for practice of skills or processes, a more radical approach is to build a whole course of study around authentic activities and tasks. This presentation will put the case that the value of authentic activity is not constrained to learning in real-life locations and practice, but can be analysed for the critical characteristics that help to enhance learning in online contexts. It will continue with a description of the theory, research, and development initiatives that provide the foundations for this approach. Finally, guidelines for the design of complex authentic activities for online learning and examples will be presented, together with the implications of this approach for teachers, students and designers.