Significant learning requires risk taking. The challenge is creating an environment in which risk taking can play out. We need to know that we can take chances and make mistakes with the possibility of recovery.
The key to promoting risk taking in learning is providing an authentic environment that supports taking chances. This can be achieved with policies and assessment schemes--e.g., portfolios. It also requires and attitude that matches the policies and methods of a course. This translates into a sense of trust that mitigates the risk involved in learning.