Authentic tasks are school assignments that have a real-world application. Such tasks bear a strong resemblance to tasks performed in nonschool settings (such as the home, an organization, or the workplace) and require students to apply a broad range of knowledge and skills. Often, they fill a genuine need for the students and result in a tangible end product. Some examples of authentic tasks include developing a business plan, making decisions about land use, and designing and producing a program for the school play.
Authentic tasks usually involve multiple disciplines and are challenging in their complexity. Higher order thinking skills--such as comprehension, design, analysis, and problem solving--typically are important components of these tasks.