Authentic tasks: The key to harnessing the drive to learn in members of “Generation Me”
AbstractRegardless of whether one thinks of today’s higher education students as “digital natives” or members of “Generation Me,” it is obvious that traditional instructional methods are failing to engage them adequately in developing the kinds of higher order learning outcomes necessary in the 21st Century. These outcomes should encompass the conative learning domain as well as the traditional cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. This chapter describes a set of ten authentic tasks learning design principles that can be used to create and support the kind of engaging learning experiences that today’s learners must have if they are to achieve a full range of cognitive, affective, conative, and psychomotor outcomes for the 21st Century. A case study of a graduate level online course that exemplifies these design principles is described. Responding to the needs of Generation Me learners requires far more of a pedagogical revolution than it does the widespread adoption of Web 2.0 technologies.