Authentic e-Learning in a Multicultural Context: Virtual Benchmarking Cases from Five Countries
Abstract: The implementation of authentic learning elements at education institutions in five countries, eight online courses in total, is examined in this paper. The International Virtual Benchmarking Project (2009-2010) applied the elements of authentic learning developed by Herrington and Oliver (2000) as criteria to evaluate authenticity. Twelve teachers in four benchmarking pairs applied these elements to compare practices and identify development challenges in their online courses. The results indicate multiple roles and perspectives and scaffolding were the most strongly implemented elements. Collaborative construction of knowledge was implemented weakly. Development challenges were identified, such as continuous evaluation in authentic assessment. The project raised teachers’ awareness of cultural background as a factor affecting views on authentic e-learning. Differences in the culture code of e-learning among Finland, Korea, Canada, Belgium and UK are items to consider when developing multicultural learning.
Presider: Hanna Teräs, Tampere University of Applied Sciences