Week 5 Activities & Webinars

Objective: Decide how you will create “active, authentic learning environments” in your online courses.

Please begin by reading and reviewing the topic Create activities and assessments.

 Blackboard Collaborate Webinar Sessions


Designing productive tasks in authentic learning environments

There is no more important pedagogical role for teachers than the design of learning tasks and assessment. An authentic learning approach enables educators to design tasks and assessments that are authentic because they are ‘cognitively real’, and they focus on students collaboratively creating genuine products that are polished and professional. Authentic learning can be very challenging to design because of this need to create such all-encompassing tasks that effectively form the basis of a whole topic or unit of study. In this presentation, I will focus on the importance of creating a real product as an outcome of an authentic task, and discuss with participants some of the difficulties and benefits associated with this challenge.

Recording -opens in Blackboard  Collaborate 

By Jan Herrington

Dr Jan Herrington is a Professor of Education at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, where she teaches in the educational technology area in the School of Education, including a compulsory first year unit in the BEd called ‘Living and Learning with Technology’. She has been active in the promotion and support of the effective use of educational technologies in learning in schools and universities for over two decades. In this time, she has co-written or edited a range of books specifically for teachers in higher education on a variety of technology and teaching-related subjects, including Authentic learning environments in higher education (with Anthony Herrington), and most recently, A guide to authentic e-learning (with Thomas C Reeves and Ron Oliver) which was winner of the AECT Outstanding Book of the Year Award in 2010.

Jan’s current research focuses on authentic learning, the design of effective online learning environments for schools and higher education, and mobile learning. She has led two ARC grants investigating authentic tasks and the design-research approach. She has published over 150 refereed journal articles, conference papers and chapters. She was the Project Leader on the ALTC funded project: New technologies: New pedagogies (2006-2008), which investigated pedagogies appropriate to mobile learning. She is a former Fulbright Scholar who, in 2002, conducted research in authentic learning environments at the University of Georgia, USA. She has won many awards for her research including the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) Young Researcher of the Year Award, and several Outstanding Paper awards at international conferences, most recently at ascilite 2010, Global Learn 2011, and IADIS, 2012.

Contact details
Professor Jan Herrington
School of Education,
Murdoch University
South Street, Murdoch, 6150
Western Australia
Phone: +61 8 9360 6256
Email: j.herringon@murdoch.edu.au

Panel Discussion: Using Problem-Based, Real-World Activities in Online Classes

Join this panel discussion for an opportunity to hear from several faculty who have taught online using Problem-Based Learning where they use real-world activities to engage students in a collaborative learning process. Participants will have the opportunity to ask panel members specific questions on their experiences teaching this way.

Recording- Opens in Blackboard Collaborate

By Lani Uyeno

Lani Uyeno, Professor, Leeward Community College. Lani teaches writing and reading at Leeward CC.  She has both bachelors and masters degrees in English Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has taught developmental and college-level reading and writing courses for 30+ years.  Her English 211 course, Autobiographical Writing, is a Problem-Based Learning course in which students are interns at an online company that provides support to memoir writers. She has presented at several national and international conferences on her use of Problem-Based Learning and teamwork in her classes.

By Peter Leong

Dr. Peter Leong is an Associate Professor with the Department of Educational Technology (ETEC) where he has worked since 2008. A native of Malaysia, he received his Ph.D. in Communication & Information Sciences from the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He also holds a M.Ed. in Educational Technology and a M.S. degree in Travel Industry Management. Dr. Leong has extensive experience in the development and delivery of online courses and distance education. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses which cover topics including quantitative research methods, instructional design, educational technology in informal learning environments as well as teaching and learning in virtual worlds. Dr. Leong was honored as one of Hawaii’s 2007 top high-technology leaders and was recently recognized with the University of Hawaii Board of Regents’ Medal for Teaching Excellence award in 2012. Dr. Leong publications include articles in Distance Education,Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, and the International Journal of Design Education. His research interests include student satisfaction with online learning, faculty support for technology integration, technologies for distance education and teaching & learning in virtual worlds.

Create a sensemaking  artifact

  1. Pick and Choose.
  2. Remix and Re-purpose.
  3. Share.

 Discussion Questions

  1. Why is authentic learning important?
  2. If authentic learning is so great, why doesn’t everyone do it all the time?
  3. What are the barriers to problem based learning and authentic learning  (classroom and institutional) and why might teachers see other instructional methods as more appropriate and/or more effective?
  4. Discuss how often, for what purpose and in what ways you might use authentic and problem base learning in your online classroom?
  5. At one end of the assessment continuum there is  “traditional assessment -quizzes, multiple choice”,  and at the other end of the continuum  there is “authentic assessment- ” assessment of learning as would be applied in the workplace or profession”.  Think about your current approaches to assessment in your courses – Describe where would you place these on the continuum?  Why do you use this approach?
  6. Why is authentic learning important?
  7. What considerations are important when incorporating a Problem-Based Learning approach into the online classroom?
    1. Describe qualities of a successful project.
    2. What issues must a teacher consider that are specific to PBL instructional strategies?
    3. What types of students will be successful PBL environments?
    4. What do students learn in a PBL environment? and what do they struggle with?

Suggested Reflections 

  1. In your blog share some of your reflections of what you have learned this week.
  2. You may also want to tell us what you have liked so far this week and how the mini course could be improved.

Activity Reflection

Please post a reflection that addresses what you did this week, why you did what you did, and what you would do differently in the future. Your reflection will be framed by three broad questions: What? So what? What now?

  1. What?
    1. Briefly describe what you did.
  2. So what?
    1. Describe why you did what you did. What are your feelings about what you did?
    2. How will this help you?
    3. What did you learn from the experience?
  3. What now?
    1. What changes did you make?
    2. What will you do differently in the future?
    3. What do you still have to learn?

Wear a hat when you comment

There are six different thinking roles you will be playing when you comment on artifacts.  The thinking roles are identified with a colored symbolic “thinking hat.” By mentally wearing and switching “hats,” you can easily focus your thoughts and comments about the artifact.

  1. The White Hat calls for information known or needed. “The facts, just the facts.”
  2. The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism. Under this hat you explore the positives and probe for value and benefit.
  3. The Black Hat is judgment – the devil’s advocate or why something may not work. Spot the difficulties and dangers; where things might go wrong. Probably the most powerful and useful of the Hats but a problem if overused.
  4. The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. When using this hat you can express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.
  5. The Green Hat focuses on creativity; the possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas. It’s an opportunity to express new concepts and new perceptions.
  6. The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process.

Video of the week

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