Babel* fishing eduspeak**: Authentic learning/assessment

Term or phrase: Authentic learning/assessment

Babel fish interpretation: An authentic learning experience is grounded in the real world.  It can be asking students to respond to a scenario taken from the professional world of your subject area, completing a task that is part of work practice in your field, solving a problem that requires students to apply theoretical knowledge. Authentic learning also brings in critical thinking, problem solving skills and more, dependant on the task.

Research indicates that students are more likely to be motivated in authentic learning tasks, with a greater sense of independent inquiry and can see the value in a task when linked to the real world.  (read more Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An Overview Authentic Learning Environment in Analytical Chemistry Using Cooperative Methods and Open-Ended Laboratories in Large Lecture Courses).

Example in practice: The below examples are taken from University of Hawai’i System Authentic Online Learning resource (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

  • Marketing students create a Marketing Strategic Plan for a business
  • Create an essay for publication in an anthology using a multi-step writing process, and that is supported by appropriate research materials.
  • This framework resource from Edith Cowan University has some great examples of authentic learning assessment tasks.

If you are using authentic learning in your unit, let us know your experiences!

*Who or what is Babel Fish?
**eduspeak is the term given to educational jargon