Jan Herrington

Jan Herrington

Biographical note
Dr Jan Herrington is Professor in Education at Murdoch University in Perth Western Australia, researching and teaching in the undergraduate and post-graduate programs in the School of Education.
Jan’s current research focuses on the design of effective web-based learning environments for higher education and the use of authentic contexts and tasks as a central focus for web-based delivery of courses ( She is also researching other ICT–related areas such as mobile learning ( and design-based research.

Jan has published over 130 refereed journal articles, conference papers and chapters, and several books including a co-edited book (with Anthony Herrington) entitled Authentic Learning in Higher Education, and most recently in 2010, a co-authored book (with Thomas C Reeves and Ron Oliver) A Guide to Authentic e-Learning.

An edited book on pedagogies appropriate to mobile learning entitled New Technologies, New pedagogies is also available for download. She has won many awards for her research including a Fulbright Award, the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) Young Researcher of the Year Award, and several Outstanding Paper awards at international conferences.

Authentic learning and emerging technologies
As a pedagogical model, authentic learning has prevailed for over two decades. Reflecting a constructivist philosophy, and strongly informed by situated cognition, it has served as a robust guide to the creation of authentic and innovative learning environments. But where does it stand now in an education environment moving rapidly towards the participatory culture of web-enabled communities, and the Œlifestream¹ contexts of personalised dynamic content? This presentation will review authentic learning in relation to mobile technologies and a broad range of web affordances and tools, and illustrate how authentic tasks and contexts are more important than ever in a rapidly transforming educational landscape. There will also be discussion on the complex nature of authentic tasks, and how they can be designed to maximise learning opportunities. Finally, the presentation will conclude with discussion of the need for further research and how these environments can be effectively studied.