Practice Focused Tasks


In a modern learning environment relevance to real-world scenarios and connections with the workplace provide professional context for student learning. Rather than just another assignment learning becomes focused on problem solving and applying solutions to real scenarios, career or work-related situations.


Authentic learning experiences can become part of the subject by asking students to complete tasks that replicate those conducted in professional practice. For example writing tasks could be changed so that rather than writing academic essays students are developing reports, plans and reviews that mirror the kinds of writing expected of them in the profession.

In Practice


ETL523 Digital Citizenship in Schools

Teaching Staff

Julie Lindsay


ETL523 Digital Citizenship in Schools is a subject in the postgraduate degree Master of Education in Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation (School of Information Studies). The focus of Assignment 1: Digital citizenship Learning Module was to work in a small team and create an authentic online learning module, demonstrating a range of digital and media affordances of the web environment as well as understanding of the needs of schools and institutions at the time. This module was to be designed for use within a school/institution learning environment. Assignment 2 asked students to be able to articulate and reflect on the role of an information leader, examine their school or institution, provide an overview of the issues and write a report or develop an information policy or set of guidelines that support digital citizenship and digital learning in schools.


Each diverse team (3-5 students) will choose a suitable topic and subtopics and the learning module was created using a wiki (Wikispaces). Each student then chose a multimedia tool or tools and created a personal digital artefact to complement the learning module material. The Assignment 2 report was typically distributed to leadership within the school/institution and once again propelled this task into a professional realm. In effect it often prevented students from being too critical of what they saw (and were experiencing) encouraging facts and then synthesised discussion and some solutions via a proposed plan of improvement.

You can find out more about this subject in this Case Study.


HRM320 Issues in Human Resource Management

Teaching Staff

Pete Millet


Providing students with the opportunity to create authentic artefacts within assessment adds an element of motivation. It also gives students the opportunity to demonstrate professional knowledge and skills.


This strategy is implemented through assessment tasks which include opportunities for students to select topics or problems of particular relevance to their workplace. One such example of this is Assessment item 3 ‘HR Issue Recommendation Report’. In this assessment task, students are asked to select an HR issue or challenge within an organisation of their choice and to provide recommendations in a formal report. In doing so student apply newly learned theory within a practical, authentic setting.

Screenshot from video with Pete


In looking for opportunities to develop and offer students practice focused tasks it is important to build in tasks that are assessable, provide real-world interactions and authentic learning experiences.


The choice of tools here is wide open. It is important that students are provided support to choose appropriate tools for completing tasks, sharing tasks, and interacting with each other over formative development and final artefacts. CSU ThinkSpace blogs/journals is one platform that can support sharing of a task and artefact and the subsequent reflective practice around this.

Additional Resources

Bosco, A, Ferns, S. (2014). Embedding authentic assessment in work-integrated learning curriculum, Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education 15(4) p. 281-290 Available Online

Hesterman, S. (2016). The digital handshake: A group contract for authentic elearning in higher education, Journal of University Learning & Teaching (13)1, pp. 1-24. Available Online

Lucu, R. & Marin, E. (2014). Authentic learning in adult education, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Science, (142) 14 pp 410-415. Available Online