- Does the task mirror the kind of task performed in real world applications?
- Is the task presented as an overarching complex problem or as a series of small sub-steps?
- Do students work on the task for weeks rather than minutes or hours?
- Are students able to choose information from a variety of inputs, including relevant and irrelevant sources?
- Are tasks and strategies relevant to other disciplines and broader knowledge?
- Are products or performances polished and refined rather than incomplete or rushed drafts?
- Do students participate in the activity for extended periods of time?
- Are students assessed on the product of the investigation, rather than by separate testing?
- Are there multiple assessment measures rather than a single measure?
- Does the context of the course represent the kind of setting where the skill or knowledge is applied?
- Is the pathway students take through the learning environment flexible, where students are able to move around at will?
Multiple Roles and Perspectives
- Are students able to explore issues from different points of view?
- Are students able to use the learning resources and materials for multiple purposes?
Collaborative Construction of Knowledge
- Are students able to collaborate rather than simply cooperate on tasks?
- Are grades given for group effort rather than individual effort?
- Are students required to make decisions about how to complete the task?
- Are students able to move freely in the environment and return to any element to act upon reflection?
- Can students compare their thoughts and ideas to experts, teachers, guides, and to other students?
- Do students work in collaborative groups that enable discussion and social reflection?
- Does the task require students to discuss and articulate beliefs and growing understanding?
- Does the task enable presentation and defense of arguments?
Access to Expert Thinking and Modeling of Processes
- Does the learning environment provide access to expert skill and opinion?
- Does the learning environment allow access to other learners at various stages of expertise?
- Are students able to hear and share stories about professional practice?
Coaching and Scaffolding
- Are more knowledgeable students able to assist with coaching?
- Is a teacher, guide or helper available to provide contextualized support?
Herrington, J. (2006). Authentic e-learning in higher education: Design principles for authentic learning environments and tasks.
Herrington, J., Reeves, T. C., & Oliver, R. (2010). A practical guide to authentic e-learning. Routledge.