University of Central Lancashire (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Page: 4528 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Authentic learning typically focuses on real-world, complex problems and their solutions, using role-playing exercises, problem-based activities, case studies, and participation in virtual communities of practice. Increasingly technology is being used to support authentic learning as researchers have come to realize that the value of authentic activity is not constrained to learning in real-life locations and practice, but that the benefits of authentic activity can be realized through careful design of Web-based learning environments. Authentic learning environments are inherently multidisciplinary and are not constructed in order to teach a specific subject discipline.

This paper discusses how the use of a web-based resource can be used to augment the authenticity of the learning experience in student-centred learning environments. It argues that the web-based resource provides the opportunity to embed students in an authentic learning activity by bridging the gap between the “real world” and the classroom. After discussing authentic learning environments the paper outlines the design and development of the resource which is modelled on a real UK city centre community. The web-based resource is a clickable map of Wincton city centre which contains links to city centre organizations and multi-media resources related to those organizations. Wincton is a fictional UK city but is based on real scenarios and realistic data that affect the city and the organizations within it. The city has a range of organizations including a cathedral, open library, newspaper, council offices and a range of retail and other organizations found in a typical UK high street. The open library contains links to Open Educational Resources developed to be used alongside the organizations as well as links to free books related to Business and Management subject areas.

The city centre resources meet the needs of a range of subject areas in Business Education by simulating the complexities of modern organisations within local communities with many interdependent and inter-related functions and processes. The paper examines the use of Wincton City to support subject based learning and also outlines how the resource provides opportunities for students to develop and enhance their employability capabilities by providing a realistic work environment whilst developing their subject specific knowledge.

The paper explains how web-based resource is supported by case studies of its use with tutor notes and examples of how the resource has been used with a range of business and management students. The resource has been released as an Open Educational Resource and details of how to access it will be provided in the paper.
OER, authentic learning, open educational resources, business and management.