Incorporating Authentic Learning Experiences within a University Course

Stein, Sarah J., Isaacs, Geoff and Andrews, Trish (2004) Incorporating Authentic Learning Experiences within a University Course. Studies in Higher Education, 29 2: 239-258. doi:10.1080/0307507042000190813

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Author Stein, Sarah J.
Isaacs, Geoff
Andrews, Trish
Title Incorporating Authentic Learning Experiences within a University Course
Journal name Studies in Higher Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1470-174X
Publication date 2004-04
Year available 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/0307507042000190813
Volume 29
Issue 2
Start page 239
End page 258
Total pages 20
Editor Malcolm Tight
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publisher Carfax Publishing Co
Language eng
Subject 130103 Higher Education
Abstract Current approaches to understanding learning imply that authentic learning experiences assist students to develop appropriate and effective understandings. Authentic learning experiences are those that are personally relevant from the learner's perspective and situated within appropriate social contexts. In planning for authentic learning to occur, tensions can emerge between providing real-world 'natural' experiences and the nature of experiences that are possible to offer within institutions, which can often be 'artificial' or 'staged', and seen as inauthentic by students. Bridging the gap between the learning taking place within formal institutions and learning within real-life communities of practice can be difficult for university teachers. This article reports the efforts of a university teacher who, through a one-semester course, endeavoured to bridge this gap between university study and learning about the world of business management. Data sources included the teacher's plans, diary and written reflections on his activities related to his teaching during the semester; course materials; teacher and student interviews; and classroom observations undertaken by the researchers. The various strategies the teacher used to develop authenticity in students' learning experiences are discussed, as well as the teacher's reflections on how he tried to capitalize on the formal structures possible in a university setting to support his students as they developed their understandings about what it is like to be practising members of the business management community. Implications for teaching and learning in general, and for university staff development, are outlined.
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Education Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 25 Mar 2009, 10:23:36 EST by Ms Karen Naughton on behalf of Teaching & Educational Development Institute