How to use this map
This map shows all of the open units that include elements of
authentic learning. This could be in their teaching practices,
integrating assessment, or having students collaborate to produce a
polished product. This map will show you where you can find these
units, who can take them and how they will contribute to building
What’s not on this map
Any units that are not open to all students are not included, neither
are independent research projects such as dissertations. If you would
like to find more examples of students as researchers check out the
What is authentic learning and why it is crucial for learning and
Authentic learning is designed to teach and highlight a wide variety
of soft skills that are useful outside of acidaemia. Furthermore,
units that allow you to highlight the real-world relevance and by
reflecting on the processes of how you learn and what you have
achieved it can help students to understand and communicate the value
of their time at university.
This map uses Lombardi’s 10 key tenants of authentic learning to
identify elements of authenticity within units.
Real-world relevance: Authentic activities match
the real-world tasks of professionals in practice as nearly as
possible. Learning rises to the level of authenticity when it asks
students to work actively with abstract concepts, facts, and
formulae inside a realistic— and highly social—context mimicking
“the ordinary practices of the [disciplinary] culture.”
Ill-defined problem: Challenges cannot be solved
easily by the application of an existing algorithm; instead,
authentic activities are relatively undefined and open to multiple
interpretations, requiring students to identify for themselves the
tasks and subtasks needed to complete the major task.
Sustained investigation: Problems cannot be solved
in a matter of minutes or even hours. Instead, authentic activities
comprise complex tasks to be investigated by students over a
sustained period of time, requiring significant investment of time
and intellectual resources.
Multiple sources and perspectives: Learners are not
given a list of resources. Authentic activities provide the
opportunity for students to examine the task from a variety of
theoretical and practical perspectives, using a variety of
resources, and requires students to distinguish relevant from
irrelevant information in the process.
Collaboration: Success is not achievable by an
individual learner working alone. Authentic activities make
collaboration integral to the task, both within the course and in
the real world.
Reflection (metacognition): Authentic activities
enable learners to make choices and reflect on their learning, both
individually and as a team or community.
Interdisciplinary perspective: Relevance is not
confined to a single domain or subject matter specialization.
Instead, authentic activities have consequences that extend beyond a
particular discipline, encouraging students to adopt diverse roles
and think in interdisciplinary terms.
Integrated assessment: Assessment is not merely
summative in authentic activities but is woven seamlessly into the
major task in a manner that reflects real-world evaluation
Polished products: Conclusions are not merely
exercises or substeps in preparation for something else. Authentic
activities culminate in the creation of a whole product, valuable in
its own right.
Multiple interpretations and outcomes: Rather than
yielding a single correct answer obtained by the application of
rules and procedures, authentic activities allow for diverse
interpretations and competing solutions.”