Weeks 3 & 4: Exploring Authentic Activities


Intro to Weeks 3 & 4


Audio Transcript
Over these two weeks, you will work in pairs to complete Assignment 1, which includes an exploration of various technology-enhanced authentic activities and evaluation of these activities using the characteristics to gauge authenticity (Herrington et al. (2010), pp. 79-84). During the completion of this assignment, you and your partner will select an authentic online activity and develop a tech sheet that will include comprehensive, yet succinct, information about it in relation to Herrington et al.'s nine characteristics and how the activity could be further refined to increase its value in authentic learner-centered instruction. Class discussion will then ensue on questions to promote reflection on designing for technology-enabled authentic learning.

Concurrent to completing Assignment 1, each pair of students will prepare and teach a short synchronous or asynchronous session to the class on one of the activities investigated. This session will demonstrate your understanding of the significant role outcomes play in the design of an authentic learning activity. You may use the provided lesson plan models to guide your lesson preparation or one of your choice.

Both the tech sheet and recording of the teaching session will be added to the community-wide repository that we began building in week 2.

Learning Outcomes for these weeks

1. Apply principles of effective authentic learning and assessment to curriculum planning.
2. Apply key concepts of a learner-centered approach to the design of learning and assessment activities in courses.
3. Communicates effectively in selected media and modes.
4. Use technology to develop and support effective authentic learning and assessment practices.


Herrington, J., Reeves, T. and Oliver, R. (2010), Ch. 2 & 5, pp. 79-84.
Palloff and Pratt (2009) – Ch. 1 - for information about competencies and learning outcomes you will use in your teaching lesson.
Lombardi, M. & Oblinger, D. (2007). Approaches that work: how authentic learning is transforming higher education. (4 case studies to investigate)
Lombardi, M. & Oblinger, D. (2007). Authentic learning for the 21st century: An overview.
Herrington, J., Oliver, R., & Herrington, A. (2007). Authentic learning on the web: guidelines for course design in flexible learning in an information society. - provides guidelines for course design using the 9 characteristics

Watch this 8 minute video as Jan Herrington introduces us to the 9 critical characteristics of authentic learning. Watch the rest of the videos on Herrington's YouTube channel for details about each of the 9 characteristics.

Weeks 3 & 4 Activities

Assignment 1: Exploration of Authentic Activities - In preparation for this assignment, make sure you have read ch. 2 & 5 from the Herrington et al. text and watch the videos above. Assignment 1 asks that you and your partner explore a number of different types of authentic learning activities <tagged wks3&4 in Diigo>, choose one to evaluate against the 9 characteristics of authentic learning, prepare a tech sheet in any format, and teach a short 10 minute session about the activity you chose. You will also post your tech sheet for class discussion. Proposed timeline for the next 2 weeks:

  • Exploration takes place over week 3
  • Tech sheet - post by Sunday midnight
  • Class discussion during week 4
  • Teaching sessions - scheduled during week 4; posted to community-wide repository by end of week 4

Assignment 1 Forum: Post your tech sheet and reflect on the questions in the forum

Teaching sessions: The sessions can be taught live or recorded, depending on availability. The sessions (synchronous or asynchronous) need to be recorded and posted to the community-wide repository. Watch the Latest News forum for scheduling updates.

eportfolioePortfolio: Now that you have an ePortfolio container you need to begin adding artifacts. For weeks 3 & 4, consider pieces from the production of your tech sheet and teaching session:

  • Draft versions
  • Screen shots
  • Final version
  • Reflections
  • Comments from peers
  • Recording of your teaching session

Journal - two entries for week 4:

  • Review the tech sheets and teaching sessions, then consider how you would use at least 2 of these authentic activities in your teaching practice.
  • Visit Herrington's Authentic Matrix page & watch video below. Where do you think the online environment sits in terms of the academic setting Herrington describes?

Last modified: Friday, 29 March 2013, 11:08 AM