Exploring #Heutagogy

Building on a conversation during my facilitation of the #EDUC90970 “Facilitating Online Learning” graduate certificate in undergraduate teaching elective, the participants and I collaboratively generated a conversation that began with critiquing the concept of fostering communities of inquiry to a process of double loop learning about heutagogy and its relationship to the principles of early childhood education (e.g. Montessori). This exploration of the concepts of Heutagogy filtered through into the design of participants prototype online courses. While there were some very creative course design proposals developed, the implementation of heutagogical principles for activity and assessment design were mitigated by conceptions of the scale of the shift in thinking for both lecturers and students and institutional support to enable these changes, particularly in large first-year cohorts – although there were some creative course designs at scale. In particular there seemed to be a continued reticence to build learner-generated contexts into the proposed course designs. While most course designs were creative in the design of a move away from high-stake summative exams and large essays as assessment activities towards more timely formative feedback and collaborative student projects, very few implemented student-generated ePortfolios or collaboration beyond the confines of the LMS (Learning Management System). Institutional change requires a significant catalyst, and not merely a momentary change or the viscosity and elasticity of the structures and procedures will simply reabsorb any changes after the catalyst is removed. However, in the on-going age of COVID19 (post-covid19 statements seem somewhat premature at present) there is a significant catalyst for transformative change for how educational systems and institutions engage with technology and the new pedagogies that new technologies enable – in light of this my question is:

What if higher education actually focused upon the principles of Heutagogy: developing creativity, collaboration, open educational research and practice and building authentic learning communities?

Higher education could:

  • Build student capabilities to navigate the unknown
  • Enable Academics to become change agents that model an openness to facilitate student-centred learning rather than delivery and control of the learning content and environment
  • Design Assessment strategies that become personalisable and follow individual learner goals that lead to a variety of graduate outcomes relevant to environments into which the students will graduate.
  • Design Courses to broker student and lecturer active participation in authentic international communities of practice
  • Support the scholarship of teaching and learning through receiving the same level of funding as discipline-based research
  • Measure research impact by the authenticity of the contribution to the international community enabled by the research rather than academic citations
  • Facilitate collaborative learning design teams that include: researchers, practitioners, developers, students, and professionals
  • Focus upon quality learning rather than economies of scale
  • Enable all students and staff to have equitable access to current technologies   

Bibliography (Sources of inspiration and further reading):

Ecclesfield, N., & Garnett, F. (Eds.). (2021). Digital Learning: Architectures of Participation. IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-4333-7

Moore, R. L. (2020, 2020/07/02). Developing lifelong learning with heutagogy: contexts, critiques, and challenges. Distance Education, 41(3), 381-401. https://doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2020.1766949  

Blaschke, L. M., & Hase, S. (2019). Heutagogy and digital media networks: Setting students on the path to lifelong learning. Pacific Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 1(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.24135/pjtel.v1i1.1  

Hase, S., & Kenyon, C. (2007). Heutagogy: a child of complexity theory. Complicity: an International Journal of Complexity and Education, 4(1), 111-118. https://doi.org/doi.org/10.29173/cmplct8766  

Hase, S., & Kenyon, C. (2001). From Andragogy to Heutagogy. ultiBASE Articles(December), 1-10. http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/pr/Heutagogy.html  

Montessori, M. (1948). The discovery of the child (2004 ed.). Aakar Books. http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=8187879238  

Narayan, V., Herrington, J., & Cochrane, T. (2019). Design principles for heutagogic learning: Implementing student-determined learning with mobile and social media tools. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET), 35(3), 86-101. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.3941

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