Representing authentic learning designs supporting the development of online communities of learners

Ron Oliver, Anthony Herrington, Jan Herrington, Thomas C. Reeves


Authentic learning designs have been explored for some time now and have frequently been shown to provide learning settings that provide many meaningful contexts for learning. These meaningful contexts provide not only encouragement for students to learn but also a raft of learning enhancements including higher-order learning and forms of learning support. The establishment of a sense of community among learners creates support mechanisms that can readily enhance learning outcomes. This paper describes several technology-facilitated authentic learning designs that involve the development and support of learning communities. The learning designs are represented in several forms to provide an overview of the various elements in the learning setting and to indicate the learning and teaching strategies associated with the community development and support. The paper illustrates the different purposes learning design representations can serve and argues the need for further research, in particular, design-based research, to develop standard forms of representations that can be widely used to provide descriptions that support discovery and reuse.


authentic learning, learning designs, higher education, professional learning, vocational education

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