Practical learning: achieving excellence in the human services

January 23-25 2008 Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Authentic learning for effective human services practice

Keywords: practice learning, authentic learning, multimedia

Authors: Neil Ballantyne (IRISS); Dr. Alan Knowles (Grant MacEwan College)

Many programmes of professional education for human services workers require extensive periods of classroom based study to acquire the necessary underpinning knowledge for practice. At the same time educational research tells us that the integration of concepts and theories into practice remains a stubbornly intractable problem for many learners. This paper will explore the pedagogical rationale for 'authentic learning' in human services education. It will describe the critical characteristics of authentic learning tasks, and offer illustrations of the ways in which web-based multi-media can be used to support complex, rich, and authentic learning activities.
The paper will conclude with a discussion of the potential for international, interdisciplinary, and service-user collaboration in the development of open, online environments for authentic learning in the human services.

This paper will be of particular interest to human service educators - and service users - interested in the ways in which multimedia can be harnessed to provide a grounded and authentic context for learning.

Date: Friday 25 January 2008, 12.00-12.30

Venue: Carrick Two

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Organised by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services in association with PEPE (Practical Experiences in Professional Education).