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Connected authentic learning: Reflection and intentional learning

Herrington, J.ORCID: 0000-0002-9960-4677, Parker, J. and Boase-Jelinek, D. (2014) Connected authentic learning: Reflection and intentional learning. Australian Journal of Education, 58 (1). pp. 23-35.

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Authentic learning pedagogy not only allows students to engage in realistic tasks using real-world resources and tools, but it also provides opportunities for students to learn with intention by thinking and acting like professionals as they address real problems. This paper describes a research conducted in a first year university course, where social media were used to support authentic and intentional learning. Principles of authentic learning guided the design of the course, and learning tasks and activities focused on the completion of realistic and complex tasks. Students’ mental effort was expended largely on the creation of polished and accomplished products, rather than on the completion of a series of decontextualised or step-by-step exercises. Importantly, opportunities for reflection were provided through the completion of a complex and collaborative task, a journal and a reflective examination. A qualitative study of two cohorts of students was conducted, as part of a larger design-based research agenda, over a period of two years. Findings showed that providing such course elements to facilitate reflection allowed students to reflect both in action as they participated in the course tasks and on action as they wrote about their learning experiences.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Sage Publications
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