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Authentic Online Learning: Aligning Learner Needs, Pedagogy and Technology

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Issues in Educational Research Volume 23, Number 2, ISSN 0313-7155


Over the past few decades there has been a substantial swing among higher education practitioners towards a more constructivist approach to learning. Nevertheless, it is still evident that many instructivist models are widely used in both classroom and online learning environments. A key challenge for educators is linking learner needs, pedagogy and technology in order to construct more interactive, engaging and student-centred environments that promote 21st century skills and encourage self-directed learning. Existing research suggests that the use of real-life tasks supported by new technologies, together with access to the vast array of open educational resources on the Internet, have the potential to improve the quality of online learning. This article describes how an authentic online professional development course for higher education practitioners was designed and implemented using a learning management system (LMS) and an open companion website. It then discusses how the initial iteration of the course was evaluated and provides recommendations for improving the second iteration. Finally it describes how the second iteration was modified and implemented.


Parker, J., Maor, D. & Herrington, J. (2013). Authentic Online Learning: Aligning Learner Needs, Pedagogy and Technology. Issues in Educational Research, 23(2), 227-241. Retrieved March 7, 2021 from .

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