Queen's Learning Outcomes Assessment

Learning Outcomes Project
Learning Outcomes Project

2. Real-World Contexts

The right question

Instructional scaffolding

Learning activities for an authentic task revolve around a question that has relevance in the real world. Learners have the option of developing their own question, but the more open-ended the task, the more complex the assessment will become.

Motivation and meaningful learning:

  • Is the question is worth answering?
  • Is there is a real world application?

Theory: Real-world: Practice




Complexity of the question:

Does the question begin with what, where or when, or how, why. The how and why questions often lead to integration and generalization. Once you have decided on the right question for your purpose,  you need to determine the what material and how much support will be provided.

The targeted learning behavior can be supported by providing learners with a specific set of materials and instruction on how to engage with the material.

The task library

Different types of information should be provided:

  • Such as reports, articles, policy documents, newspaper reports, anecdotal information.
  • Including variety in data display and type.
  • As well as “distractors” to prompt analytical development, such as source material with incongruity, bias (blogs, propaganda etc.)

Learner’s role:

Meaning for learners can be enhanced using a scenario, placing them in a real world role setting, e.g. analyst, consultant, journalist, product developer. The stakes can be increased by providing a rationale (within the scenario) for why an inaccurate response may impact them, e.g. the health of a friend is dependent on the recommendation.