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Authentic Learning: A Concept Analysis

Mary Chabeli, Anna Nolte and Gugu Ndawo

Global Journal of Health Science, 2021, vol. 13, issue 4, 12

Abstract: Authentic learning (AL) is a learner-centred approach in which learners co-construct their own knowledge by engaging in and addressing real life problems that demand the use of higher order thinking skills (HOTS), real world resources and tools while thinking and acting like experts. However, AL is a concept that is ambiguous and abstract therefore challenges nurse educators in fully engaging learners in such problems thus limiting their development of HOTS. The purpose of this article was to describe the concept analysis process that was followed to clarify AL, provide conceptual meaning in nursing education, and formulate a theoretical definition using Walker and Avant’s eight-step method. Definitions, nature, characteristics and uses of AL were sought and the researchers explored 160 publications which included dictionaries, encyclopaedias, thesauri, conference papers, research reports, journal articles and subject-related literature across multiple disciplines to critically analyse AL. A 17-year period from 1988 to 2015 was used to search several databases. The defining attributes which included antecedents, the process and consequences of AL emerged. The consequence of AL in nursing education is a competent, critical, autonomous, independent, lifelong graduate desirable for the 21st-century global healthcare system. A theoretical definition of AL was also formulated. The study findings indicated that nurse educators can be assisted to design AL tasks that expose learners to AL thus implications were stated and recommendations were made.

Date: 2021
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