Designing for authentic relationships, content and assessment in unpredictable learning contexts
The professional development landscape is being redrawn as e-learning and educational technologies provide opportunities for participants to connect everyday life and formal online learning in new and dynamic ways. These connections call for authentic learning pedagogies which challenge traditional teacher/learner relationships, formal course design and assessment practices. This paper explores some of the difficulties and benefits arising from responsive course design requiring mutual engagement and collaboration between teachers and learners, and where learning and assessment are framed by authentic problems and situated in everyday contexts. We explore how relevant knowledge can be constructed and assessed within an e-learning community; specifically how e-learning can facilitate learner-negotiated pathways linking work/interests and study; and provide a balance between flexibility and structure in course design to enable participants to select relevant activities and resources. This investigation into the practices and strategies of linking work and study has highlighted changing relationships between people, the virtual and the physical, and objects in our educational technology landscape.