Giving Compass' Take:

· Getting Smart discusses the importance of authenticity in learning and proposes 9 ways to make student work authentic in modern society.

· How are these 9 proposals affective? How is it important to ensure students know what they're learning and why they're learning it? How can donors help schools and teachers put these methods into practice?

· Read more about transforming schools and encouraging students by explaining why they're learning what they're learning.

Both learners and learning facilitators want learning where the ‘why’ is an integral part of the process. It’s this desire to be “real” that has now found its way into our vernacular as “authenticity”. Authentic learning can be the guide to not only make learning more real but also more maximized and optimal for all learners. ISo, what are the ways to make student work more authentic?

Authentic Problems / Challenges

  • One of the best ways for learning to be authentic is to use real-world problems, challenges and questions as the primary pursuit.

Authentic Audiences

  • Who is going to see our students’ final work? We all know that at one time, and unfortunately still in all too many cases, only the instructor sees our work.

Authentic Partners

  • In addition to working with one’s teachers and advisors, as well as one’s peers, authenticity is now influenced by the number of diverse partners a student can collaborate within a variety of capacities.

Authentic Clients

  • Providing our students with the client relationship is invaluable. If we use our partners – especially in the private and public sectors – they can provide real services and products created and designed for real needs and challenges they have.

Authentic Skills

  • We have now realized that we are in a performance-based world. It’s not enough for our students to know something. They need to know how to apply what they know.

Authentic Tech / Authentic Gear

  • Just like the rest of us, students want to use professional equipment and the latest technology.

Authentic Products / Authentic Outcomes

  • Project-based learning and other deeper learning approaches focus on having an actual public product that students can not only be proud of, but that can also be seen, shared, heard, experienced and even critiqued.

Authentic Competition

  • Let’s be perfectly clear. I’m not advocating that all projects need to have a competitive component. That being said, it’s one avenue that can create more interest and authenticity for students.

Authentic Time

  • Finally, the term “real-time” has been used to mean a variety of things. But in this context, let’s think about how time is relevant to authenticity.

Read the full article about authentic student work by Michael Niehoff at Getting Smart.