A Model for Designing Authentic Learning

Summer Student Scholarships

Keywords: Authentic Learning, Design Based Research, Self-Regulated Learning


Student internships and work experience schemes provide students with highly authentic learning experiences (Bosco & Fern, 2014). Therefore many university programmes include a job-experience element that students must demonstrate completion of, usually through a report signed by the employer that the student has managed to find work with over their summer break. Auckland University of Technology provides a summer student scholarship scheme that provides contestable scholarship funding for students to work on university specified projects over the summer break. Each scholarship requires 370 hours of project-related work, followed by a summary report. In this presentation we explore a model that extends the summer student scholarship concept as part of a longer term collaboration between university students, academic supervisors, and industry representatives. This extended model brokers real world projects that benefit the wider community through developing solutions to health care problems in collaboration with a local district health board (ADHB or Auckland District Health Board). In this model communication design students apply to form design teams, selected and supervised by university academics, to address design briefs from the district health board’s Design Lab. Key aspects of this collaboration include: developing a sense of trust between the university and the district health Design Lab, establishing a supervision team and protocols, and establishing an ecology of supporting resources - including providing students with the work space and infrastructure access to achieve the project goals. The summer student scholarships are designed to be the first step in a long term collaboration that will potentially lead into major undergraduate student projects and post-graduate research. The summer scholarship projects use a Design Based Research (DBR) methodology (McKenney & Reeves, 2018) to address the first design stages of specific health care problems: analysis and exploration, and initial prototype design. The following stages of a DBR methodology (design implementation, evaluation, and redesign) are addressed through subsequent major student projects or post graduate research following agreement with the district health Design Lab after the presentation of the summer student scholarship project outcomes. The scope of the projects aim to explore the potential of wearable and mobile technologies to enhance health care practice and the patient experience (Rich & Miah, 2017). The research questions underpinning the extended student scholarship model are:


  1. In what scenarios can wearable and mobile technologies most effectively enhance health care practice and the patient experience?
  2. What are the design principles that can guide the development of authentic mobile learning collaborative student projects?



Bosco, A. M., & Fern, S. (2014). Embedding of authentic assessment in work-integrated learning curriculum. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 15(4), 281-290.

McKenney, S., & Reeves, T. C. (2018). Conducting educational design research: Routledge.

Rich, E., & Miah, A. (2017). Mobile, wearable and ingestible health technologies: towards a critical research agenda. Health Sociology Review, 26(1), 84-97.



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Author Biography

Thomas Cochrane, CfLAT, Auckland University of Technology

Dr Thomas Cochrane is an Academic Advisor and Senior Lecturer in educational Technology at AUT University's Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLAT). In 2011 he was awarded as an Ascilite Fellow http://www.ascilite.org.au/index.php?p=awards. His research interests include mobile learning, web 2.0, communities of practice, and the scholarship of technology enhanced learning (SOTEL). His PHD thesis was titled: "Mobilizing Learning: Transforming pedagogy with mobile web 2.0". Thomas has managed and implemented over 50 mobile learning projects, with a recent focus upon Android and iOS smartphones and the iPad as catalysts to enable student-generated content and student-generated learning contexts, bridging formal and informal learning environments. Thomas has a peer-reviewed research portfolio spanning 45 journal articles, 29 book chapters, and over 120 conference proceedings (http://goo.gl/maps/YxkYP), receiving best paper awards at Ascilite 2009, ALT-C 2011, ALT-C 2012. He has been invited to keynote at several international educational technology conferences including: the 2012 Australian Moodle Moot, the 2012 m-Libraries conference in the UK, the launch of UWS massive iPad project in February 2013, the 2014 IBSA VET Practitioners Conference in Melbourne, and an invited speaker at EdMedia2014 (Tampere, Finland), and an Educator In Residence at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab, Coventry University in September 2015. Thomas was an invited keynote at the University of Western Australia’s Mlearning Summit in September 2015. Thomas was an invited keynote at the University of Western Australia’s Mlearning Summit in September 2016. In 2017 he was a member of the team winning the AUT Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence, Teaching Innovation Award.

Thomas is an AJET Associate Editor, an editorial board member of RLT, BJET, and IJMBL, and the coordinator of the Ascilite Mobile Learning Special Interest Group. He is a regular reviewer for a number of educational technology journals including: AJET, CHB, IJMBL, JCHE, UAIS, and TLT. Thomas is also one of the first SCMALT holders (Senior Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology).

How to Cite
Cochrane, T., & Sinfield, D. (2019). A Model for Designing Authentic Learning: Summer Student Scholarships. Pacific Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2(1), 8. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjtel.v2i1.29
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