About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7786-7793
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1807

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

BUILDING AN AUTHENTIC E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: THE CASE OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ANALYSIS

M.J. Martínez-Argüelles, A. Fitó, D. Plana-Erta

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (SPAIN)
Higher education in Europe, but especially in Spain, faces the challenge of increasing the employability of its graduates. Some stakeholders argue that there is a substantial gap between the application of knowledge in the real work environment and the theoretical learning in the formal instruction in the classroom, where students are taught in a largely decontextualized manner. According to Brown, Collins and Duguid (1989) a way to bridge the gap is to use a model of cognitive apprenticeship. Authentic learning is a growing interest in authentic activities as the basis for learning in both face-to-face and web-based courses. Some authors (Savery & Duffy, 1996) have argued that only real-problem contexts should be presented to guarantee authenticity. However, other authors (Alessi, 2000; Herrington & Herrington, 2007) have shown that maximum fidelity, does not necessarily lead to maximum effectiveness in learning. The cognitive authenticity, rather than the physical authenticity, is the key principle in designing of authentic learning environments (Smith, 1987; Herrington & Reeves, 2003; Herrington & Herrington, 2008). Authenticity emerges in the interaction of various components, such as the learner, the learning environment and the task (Barab, Squire & Dueber, 2000).

Following this approach, we consider the characteristics of the authentic learning task (Herrington, Oliver & Reeves, 2010) as theoretical framework to provide an authentic context that reflects the way the knowledge will be used in real life. We apply this theoretical framework to improve the instructional design of the subject Financial Statements Analysis. This subject is compulsory in the degree of Business Administration and Management of the Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC). UOC is a fully online university and thus it develops its activity in a virtual learning environment. The subject Financial statement analysis is recommended to be coursed in the second year, around 300 students enroll this subject each year. It is a synthesis of other accounting subjects previously studied.

We have redesigned this subject considering the different elements that characterize authentic learning (Herrington, Reeves & Oliver; 2010).

These are as follows:
(1) provide authentic context that reflects the way the knowledge will be used in real-life,
(2) provide authentic activities,
(3) provide access to expert performances and the modelling of processes,
(4) provide multiple roles and perspectives,
(5) support collaborative construction of knowledge,
(6) promote reflection,
(7) promote articulation,
(8) provide coaching and scaffolding, and
(9) provide for authentic assessment of learning within the tasks.

This article focuses on the changes made in the subject trying to meet all these criteria. During the implementation several difficulties have arisen regarding some of the above mentioned elements. Finally, the suitability of each one of the criteria to the specific subject’s context and the online environment is discussed.
@InProceedings{MARTINEZARGUELLES2018BUI,
author = {Mart{\'{i}}nez-Arg{\"{u}}elles, M.J. and Fit{\'{o}}, A. and Plana-Erta, D.},
title = {BUILDING AN AUTHENTIC E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: THE CASE OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ANALYSIS},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1807},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1807},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {7786-7793}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.J. Martínez-Argüelles AU - A. Fitó AU - D. Plana-Erta
TI - BUILDING AN AUTHENTIC E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: THE CASE OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ANALYSIS
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1807
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 7786
EP - 7793
ER -
M.J. Martínez-Argüelles, A. Fitó, D. Plana-Erta (2018) BUILDING AN AUTHENTIC E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: THE CASE OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ANALYSIS, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 7786-7793.
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