Assessing the authenticity of the student learning experience

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Bissett-Johnson, Katherine Mary (1); Radcliffe, David F (2)
Series: ICED
Institution: Swinburne University of Technology
Section: Design Education
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Authentic learning is an approach to teaching where the learning is embedded in a real world context, in real situations or simulations, and offers students opportunities for problem solving challenges much like they will encounter in real life. This paper discusses and reflects upon the development a course designed to teach Socially Responsible Design approaches, methods and tools to Product Design Engineering students using global projects. Our research question was to investigate if this Socially Responsible Design course, it?s structure, delivery, learning activities and assessments combined to deliver an authentic learning experience. Through informal interviews with staff, review of student reflections, review of university student feedback comments and consideration of final outcomes, all within the framework of Herrington and Oliver?s nine elements of authentic learning, we found that this course did provide an authentic learning experience for many reasons. This study offers academics a frame work for reviewing existing and future courses with a view to creating or enhancing authentic learning experiences using project based learning

Keywords: Authentic Learning, Product Design Engineering, Social responsibility, Design education, Design methods


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