THE IMPACT OF AN AUTHENTIC PEDAGOGICAL ACTIVITY ON HIGHER ORDER THINKING AND PERCEPTIONS OF AUTHENTICITY IN UNDERGRADUATE ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY COURSES
The expanding use on online and technology-enhanced instructional formats have prompted calls for new instructional approaches that might enhance learning. Organizations such as the U.S. Commission on Higher Education and the American Psychological Association (APA) have recommended consideration of new pedagogical methods, curricula, and instructional technologies to improve the quality of undergraduate education. In particular, an APA task force identified authentic teaching and assessment as a possible approach for promoting key intellectual goals in undergraduate psychology education.
Authentic pedagogy is a broad term that describes an active learning perspective with a focus on the construction of meaning and intellectual quality in the learning process. Disciplined inquiry, experiences that are rooted in the real world, and production of value/meaning beyond school success are typical components of authentic pedagogical methods. As a field that focuses on behavior and mental processes, it might be expected that all undergraduate courses in psychology inherently meet the criteria for authenticity. However, the recommendation from the American Psychological Association task force suggests that this might not be the case and that faculty might need to reconsider their pedagogical approaches to more clearly promote a sense of authenticity while advancing the higher order thinking skills that are fundamental to the profession.
This presentation will report on a quasi-experiment that examined the effect of a structured authentic pedagogical activity on measurements of higher order thinking on the Reflective Learning Continuum and measurements of perceived authenticity on the Authentic Pedagogy Survey in online undergraduate psychology courses. The presentation will examine several significant findings and consider the potential impact on pedagogical approaches used in undergraduate education.