What is Authentic Learning?

What is Authentic Learning?

Authentic learning says that we should learn what happens in the "real world".  Authentic learning is real life learning, a style of learning that encourages students to create a tangible, useful product to be shared with their world.

For example it should

be like when we learn about math, we learn to think like mathematicians. When we learn about the weather, we learn to use tools that a meteorologist would use.  When we learn to draw, we are taught techniques that real artists use.

Experts say technology can contribute substantially to authentic learning. Technology has a powerful role to play in creating conditions for authentic learning. Technology is allowing the participant to change the real world—not just simulate it. Technological area such as "multimedia" environments can support authentic learning by the merging of text, video, and sound.

Some of the major characteristics of authentic learning are:

  • Real-world relevance: Activities match as nearly as possible the real-world tasks of professionals in practice rather than decontextualized or classroom-based tasks.
  • Multiple perspectives: Provides the opportunity for students to examine the task from different perspectives using a variety of resources, and separate relevant from irrelevant information.
  • Value laden: Provide the opportunity to reflect and involve students’ beliefs and values.
  • Authentically assessed: Assessment is seamlessly integrated with learning in a manner that reflects how quality is judged in the real world.

Learn more about other characteristics of authentic learning are available here.

Elements of Authentic Learning


Creating authentic learning experiences for kids via online


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