Incorporating Authentic Learning Experiences
Now that you have studied constructivist principles, practices and strategies, and also viewed sample lessons contrasting a constructivist approach with a cognitivist approach, it is time to see how incorporation of authentic learning experiences can enhance instruction.
Five Examples of ALE Incorporation
Here are 5 examples of instruction that have been enhanced by adding authentic learning experiences.
Engagement Exploration Explanation Extensions Evaluation
|1. Math: Teaching middle school students to write and use formulas can be a dry and disconnected task if it is done simply using numbers and technical terms like constants and variables. However, one teacher decided to use the real-life context of the school's football team to help pairs of students write and use formulas by calculating team passing, rushing, recieving, returning, kicking, punting and turnover statistics over the course of the season. The project included cross-curricular knowledge: technology (use of MS Excel), physical education (the game of football), math (basic operations and growing understanding of variable and constants). Students had to work in teams, as a class and compare their findings with the official team statisticians to reflect and evaluate their progress. The final product was a spreadsheet of the football team's statistics which was uploaded and viewed on the school website.||File:MathIcon.png|
|File:WritingIcon.png||2. Writing: A standard lesson on essay writing includes choosing a topic, researching, pre-writing, organizing, outlining, writing, and proof-reading the essay. To incorporate an authentic learning experience, this lesson was coupled with a local newspaper which was willing to publish two student articles written about current events each day for an entire month. The students were set to the task, given deadlines, paired up with a peer-editor, provided with computer lab and phone resources to conduct thier research, and had to submit the final essay to the editor of the paper by the deadline.|
|3. Reading: Literature classes often involve reading selected texts and completing basic knowledge tests about the writing. An authentic learning experience in the area of reading may involve assigning students to read a text with the goal of writing a critique which would, in this scenario, "make or break" the author's career. Reading a book with this goal in mind is very different from reading for a grade or reading for enjoyment. This skill of critical reading is very useful in the business world, drawing on basic grammar all the way to political and social issues. The critique would be reviewed and edited by a partner and finally be included in the school newspaper.||File:ReadingIcon.png|
|File:ScienceIcon.png||4. Science: Science classes have great application for ALEs- they are called labs. One example of an authentic learning experience may include studying the effects of chemical fertilizers on a variety of breeds of corn in a controlled environment. The tasks of physically planting, watering, fertilizing and taking growth and harvest measurements certainly takes a long period of time, but it provides an real life experience that turns theory into reality.|
|5. Social Studies: Learning about time zones can be a boring and abstract concept. However, if students are tasked with planning a trip using actual flight and travel time information, they would be faced with the realities of time zones. Collaboration with another student could be fostered by having them to coordinated travel plans.||File:SSIcon.png|
|Once you have read through them, take some time to post your responses to the following questions on this (HOLD SHIFT and CLICK)discussion board.
• How did the authentic learning experiences in the demonstrations reflect constructivist principles, practices and strategies?
• In what ways did the authentic learning experiences added to the instruction in the demonstrations enhance the instruction?
Your Turn To Incorporate an ALE into Instruction
|File:DownloadFile.png||Save or print this by HOLDING SHIFT and CLICKING instructional lesson plan in which an authentic learning experience could enhance the stated objectives. Develop and incorporate an authentic learning experience (ALE) into this cognitive-based instructional lesson plan. Ensure that it achieves the instructional objective and aligns with components of authentic learning experiences identified on the ALE quality checklist.|
Click Lesson 3 to continue.
|Instructional Design: Homepage||Constructivist Learning Experiences: Introduction||Pre-Lesson||Lesson 1||Lesson 2||Lesson 3||Conclusion|
Review The Objectives
•Given a demonstration of various examples of incorporation of authentic learning experiences within instruction, learning participants will be able to:
- 1.4 Identify how authentic learning experiences reflect constructivist principles, practices and strategies.
- 1.5 Identify ways in which authentic learning experiences enhanced instruction examples.
•Given an instructional plan where an authentic learning experience could enhance stated objectives and a quality checklist outlining components of authentic learning experiences, learning participants will be able to:
- 1.6 Create an authentic learning experience for instructional plan which achieves instructional objectives and aligns with components of authentic learning experiences identified on quality checklist.