Perspectives On: Authentic learning with large student groups

Author: Dr Kate Black, Associate Professor and Director of Learning & Teaching, Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University

This thought-piece explores how business schools can teach undergraduates employability skills in the context of the 'authentic learning' pedagogical approach, an approach which provides tasks that simulate the challenges and contexts of the contemporary working environment, often in response to contemporary employer demands.

The paper examines the context of the modern learning environment and the role of authentic learning within that context, as well as outlining the theory and practice of current authentic learning approaches. It then draws on the author’s own teaching experience in detail, and includes detailed insights into a final-year module used in their school's business and management programmes, and the student feedback and challenges that arose over the course of its delivery.

It is hoped that this paper will both act as a guide for academics looking to develop authentic approaches within their curriculum, but importantly, engender discussion and debate around the place of authentic learning and of specific approaches to it within large student groups.

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