Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 2, No. 2 (2005)

Authentic tasks in e-learning designs

Jan Herrington, U of Wollongong


Constructivist approaches to learning design, while gaining increased acceptance in the higher education community, are the exception rather than the rule in the majority of web-based courses currently offered by universities throughout the world. The adoption of university quality standards and the widespread use of course management programs have inadvertently constrained more authentic and innovative approaches to online learning. Contemporary trends in e-learning designs are highlighting the value of authentic approaches to learning. This paper argues that authentic tasks that guide complex and sustained learning endeavours can be adopted in web-based courses, and provides guidelines for implementation, together with examples of successful university courses.

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