Authentic Learning – Dan Eller – 10/6/08
As educators in higher education, we are always looking for ways to make information more meaningful to our students. Authentic learning allows for this “meaning” by presenting students with problem-solving activities that employee authentic, real-world questions that enable students to participate in a learning community. In this learning community there exists many sources of knowledge, but the teacher is but one source of this knowledge.
Higher education today attracts a participatory learner engaged with state-of-the-art technology; students can use their online collaborative abilities to develop their academic pursuits. This community collaboration goes beyond the walls of the classroom and teacher delivered instruction, to encompass all that is waiting outside the traditional learning environment. This places the learner in somewhat of an uncomfortable, non-directed learning environment where the teacher can act as the guide to facilitate this broader learning world. By incorporating this pedagogy into our teaching practice, we continue the future exploration of knowledge by our students, and ultimately provide a stable foundation for this student driven knowledge to become student driven practice.