Developing Creative and Critical Thinking Skills in an Authentic Learning Environment

Heidi Tan Yeen-Ju, Neo Mai, Neo Tse Kian, Kwok Wai Jing, Lee Kai Wen, Lai Chen Haw


The Malaysian Ministry of Education has called for a need to produce skilled graduates that are highly employable. In this study, Herrington and Kervin’s Authentic Learning principles were adapted into the design of an Authentic Learning environment that is driven by a problem-based group project.  The impact of this learning environment on engaging students’ creative and critical thinking as well as the students’ perception towards the Authentic Learning environment was studied. The learning environment was designed to center on an authentic problem-based group project and was supported by multimedia and web technologies. Results indicate that Authentic Learning principles, when adapted into a learning environment engaged the use of higher-order thinking skills, encouraged the cultivation of crucial skills, made learning an active process, and enhanced understanding. Students responded positively towards the Authentic Learning environment as learning became more relevant. The positive results of this study provide support for the development of more Authentic Learning environments to engage students’ creative and critical thinking skills, thereby answering the call of the national agenda to produce industry-ready graduates with skills that make them highly employable.


Authentic learning; creative thinking; critical thinking; problem-solving; multimedia; web technologies

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