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checkpoint 7.2
Optimize relevance, value, and authenticity

Individuals are engaged by information and activities that are relevant and valuable to their interests and goals. This does not necessarily mean that the situation has to be equivalent to real life, as fiction can be just as engaging to learners as non-fiction, but it does have to be relevant and authentic to learners’ individual goals and the instructional goals. Individuals are rarely interested in information and activities that have no relevance or value. In an educational setting, one of the most important ways that teachers recruit interest is to highlight the utility and relevance, of learning and to demonstrate that relevance through authentic, meaningful activities. It is a mistake, of course, to assume that all learners will find the same activities or information equally relevant or valuable to their goals. To recruit all learners equally, it is critical to provide options that optimize what is relevant, valuable, and meaningful to the learner.

  • Vary activities and sources of information so that they can be:
    • Personalized and contextualized to learners’ lives
    • Culturally relevant and responsive
    • Socially relevant
    • Age and ability appropriate
    • Appropriate for different racial, cultural, ethnic, and gender groups
  • Design activities so that learning outcomes are authentic, communicate to real audiences, and reflect a purpose that is clear to the participants
  • Provide tasks that allow for active participation, exploration and experimentation
  • Invite personal response, evaluation and self-reflection to content and activities
  • Include activities that foster the use of imagination to solve novel and relevant problems, or make sense of complex ideas in creative ways

Recruiting Interest | More Checkpoints