In researching for the fourth E-Primer, I read an article by Herrington, Oliver & Reeves (2003) called "Patterns of engagement in authentic online learning environments".In it, ten principles for generating authentic learning environments are listed:
Authentic activities have real world relevance:
match as nearly as possible the real world tasks of professionals in
practice rather than decontextualised or classroom based tasks.
Authentic activities are ill-defined, requiring students to define the tasks and sub-tasks needed to complete the activity:
inherent in the activities are ill-defined and open to multiple
interpretations rather than easily solved by the application of
existing algorithms. Learners must identify their own unique tasks and
sub-tasks in order to complete the major task.
Authentic activities comprise complex tasks to be investigated by students over a sustained period of time:
are completed in days, weeks and months rather than minutes or hours.
They require significant investment of time and intellectual resources.
Authentic activities provide the opportunity for
students to examine the task from different perspectives, using a
variety of resources:
The task affords learners the opportunity
to examine the problem from a variety of theoretical and practical
perspectives, rather than allowing a single perspective that learners
must imitate to be successful. The use of a variety of resources rather
than a limited number of preselected references requires students to
detect relevant from irrelevant information.
Authentic activities provide the opportunity to collaborate:
is integral to the task, both within the course and the real world,
rather than achievable by an individual learner.
Authentic activities provide the opportunity to reflect:
Activities need to enable learners to make choices and reflect on their learning both individually and socially.
Authentic activities can be integrated and applied across different subject areas and lead beyond domain specific outcomes:
encourage interdisciplinary perspectives and enable students to play
diverse roles thus building robust expertise rather than knowledge
limited to a single well-defined field or domain.
Authentic activities are seamlessly integrated with assessment:
of activities is seamlessly integrated with the major task in a manner
that reflects real world assessment, rather than separate artificial
assessment removed from the nature of the task.
Authentic activities create polished products valuable in their own right rather than as preparation for something else:
Activities culminate in the creation of a whole product rather than an exercise or sub-step in preparation for something else.
Authentic activities allow competing solutions and diversity of outcome:
allow a range and diversity of outcomes open to multiple solutions of
an original nature, rather than a single correct response obtained by
the application of rules and procedures.