Approaches That Work: How Authentic Learning Is Transforming Higher Education

Marilyn M. Lombardi, EDUCAUSE Connect, Jul 27, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Most of this article is devoted to case studies of the 'authentic' activity types listed in the table at the top. "Authentic learning aligns well with the needs of today's participatory learners. The challenge is to channel their online and collaborative abilities and interests into academic pursuits, helping them develop the higher-order thinking skills they may not acquire on their own." I am less convinced of this need than the author, as is reflected in my thoughts on groups and group work. It is certainly not clear to me that working in groups is either necessary or sufficient to the development of higher-order thinking skills. All of that said (and I'm being prickly) this is a pretty good article, one that certainly highlights the benefits of the use of online communications technologies.
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