TASK DESIGN


AUTHENTIC TASK DESIGN

10 design elements are suggested for the design of authentic tasks in web-based learning environments:

1. Authentic tasks have real-world relevance
Activities match as nearly as possible the real-world tasks of professionals in practice rather than decontextualised or classroom-based tasks.

2. Authentic tasks are ill-defined, requiring students to define the tasks and sub-tasks needed to complete the activity
Problems inherent in the tasks are ill-defined and open to multiple interpretations rather than easily solved by the application of existing algorithms. Learners must identify their own unique tasks and sub-tasks in order to complete the major task.

3, Authentic tasks comprise complex tasks to be investigated by students over a sustained period of time
Tasks are completed in days, weeks and months rather than minutes or hours, requiring significant investment of time and intellectual resources.

4. Authentic tasks provide the opportunity for students to examine the task from different perspectives, using a variety of resources
The task affords learners the opportunity to examine the problem from a variety of theoretical and practical perspectives, rather than a single perspective that learners must imitate to be successful. The use of a variety of resources rather than a limited number of preselected references requires students to detect relevant from irrelevant information.

5. Authentic tasks provide the opportunity to collaborate
Collaboration is integral to the task, both within the course and the real world, rather than achievable by an individual learner.

6. Authentic tasks provide the opportunity to reflect
Tasks need to enable learners to make choices and reflect on their learning both individually and socially.

7. Authentic tasks can be integrated and applied across different subject areas and lead beyond domain-specific outcomes
Tasks encourage interdisciplinary perspectives and enable diverse roles and expertise rather than a single well-defined field or domain.

8. Authentic tasks are seamlessly integrated with assessment
Assessment of tasks is seamlessly integrated with the major task in a manner that reflects real world assessment, rather than separate artificial assessment removed from the nature of the task.

9. Authentic tasks create polished products valuable in their own right rather than as preparation for something else
Tasks culminate in the creation of a whole product rather than an exercise or sub-step in preparation for something else.

10. Authentic tasks allow competing solutions and diversity of outcome
Tasks allow a range and diversity of outcomes open to multiple solutions of an original nature, rather than a single correct response obtained by the application of rules and procedures.

ATTRIBUTIONS:
© 2005 Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong.
Reeves, T. C., Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (2002). Authentic activities and online learning. Annual Conference Proceedings of Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Perth, Australia