Online: Trending Now

Unique biweekly insights and news review
from Ray Schroeder, Director of the National Council for Online Education

Pedagogy, Andragogy, and Now Heutagogy

Online: Trending Now #142

Teaching adults is not the same as teaching children; done well, it affords the adults a level of autonomy, even including the opportunity to determine and direct their learning.

Regrettably, we still find university instructors who teach their students as if they were in 19th or 20th century elementary or high school classrooms.  They slavishly follow fact-filled text books, offer tedious objective quizzes to drill the facts into student minds (ignoring that the answers are just a click away), and never climb a Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy pyramid or Depth of Knowledge chart) beyond “recall/reproduction” or “remembering and understanding.” 

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Pyramid

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License by nist6dh

 

Yet, research shows us that as we seek to build deeper knowledge in this digital age, we should strive to climb the taxonomy pyramid to encourage students to apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.  In this way we build higher order learning that affords adaptability and flexibility. Educational theorist Malcolm Knowles proposed four principles of andragogy (the teaching of adults). 

  1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.
  2. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for the learning activities.
  3. Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance and impact to their job or personal life.
  4. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented.

 

The next step in working with motivated, adult learners is heutagogy:  “a student-centric teaching and learning strategy where the learning is determined by the learner.” As we apply heutagogical principles, we encourage self-directed learning. In doing so it might seem that we are giving up the job of teaching, but instead we are enabling our learners to define their needs and outcomes:

Of course, one of the hallmarks of self-directed learning is that it requires instructors to turn control of the learning experience over to the learners themselves. While this may mean less planning on the part of the instructor, it also often means more time working with learners individually to establish their goals, or else creating a wider range of content so that learners can choose what to study.

A few ways to encourage self-directed learning include:

  • Letting learners set their own completion dates for assignments.
  • Allowing learners multiple completion attempts.
  • Having learners design their own course projects.
  • Organizing modules so that learners can start with whatever interests them most.

 

By letting go of rigid control of the learning, we respect our adult professionals to build and direct their own learning. Our role becomes one of encouragement and support including such techniques as Socratic questioning to help the students refine their learning experience.

This approach is uniquely applicable to the field of professional continuing education.  It is how we will most effectively teach professionals.

Self-directed learning respects the motivation and competency of professionals seeking to improve and expand their knowledge and skills.  It is especially effective online, using the plethora of Web-based resources and tools to enlighten and update the areas of study.  We should encourage our faculty members and instructional designers to consider these effective approaches to teaching the adult, motivated and professional students.

Of course, I will continue to track the developments in emerging trends, technologies, pedagogies and practices, Continuing and Online Education Update blog by UPCEA. You can have the updates sent directly to your email each morning– no advertising, no spam!

Best,
 
Ray Schroeder Founding Director
National Council for Online Education

Ray Schroeder 2016 Summit for Online Leadership

Ray Schroeder is Professor Emeritus, Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) and Senior Fellow, and Founding Director of the National Council for Online Education at UPCEA. Each year, Ray publishes and presents nationally on emerging topics in online and technology-enhanced learning. Ray’s social media publications daily reach more than 12,000 professionals. He is the inaugural recipient of the A. Frank Mayadas Online Leadership Award, recipient of the University of Illinois Distinguished Service Award, the United States Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame Award, and the American Journal of Distance Education/University of Wisconsin Wedemeyer Excellence in Distance Education Award 2016.

Whether you need benchmarking studies, or market research for a new program, UPCEA Consulting is the right choice.

We know you. We know the challenges you face and we have the solutions you need. We speak your language and have been serving leaders like you for more than 100 years. UPCEA consultants are current or former continuing and online higher education professionals who are experts in the industry—put our expertise to work for you.


The National Council for Online Education is dedicated to advancing quality online learning at the institutional level. The National Council is uniquely focused on excellence at the highest levels – leadership, administration, strategy – applying a macro lens to the online teaching and learning enterprise. Its engaged members include the stewards of online learning at most of the leading universities in the nation.

The National Council for Online Education offers a variety of custom research options through a variable pricing model.


Click here to learn more.

Other UPCEA Updates + Blogs

Generating So Many Leads and Losing Them in a Blink of an Eye

Higher education marketers are faced with significant challenges in attracting new adult students into their professional, continuing, and online (PCO) programs. The target market is now primarily spread across four generations of adult learners, recent Generation Z graduates (those 22 or younger) and Gen Zers not going to college, Millennials (those 23 to 37 years…

Read More

UPCEA & Other Associations Urge HHS Not to Pursue Definition of Sex

​Shortly before the November election, word leaked that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was considering developing a definition of “sex” that would, in effect, maintain that an individual’s sex was determined at birth and was unchangeable. In a letter​ last week, UPCEA, along with ACE and 27 other higher education associations, urged HHS not…

Read More

Giving Thanks for the New Economy

With the holidays near, we need to give thanks for the many opportunities that 2019 should provide to higher education. The next few years (including 2019) bring the promise of a new and exciting economy, one based heavily on automation and efficiencies and fueled by the once-mocked Millennials (born between 1980 and 1996; now roughly…

Read More

University of Delaware Associate Vice Provost, Professional and Continuing Studies & Online Initiatives Jim Broomall to Retire

Dr. James K. Broomall will retire as associate vice provost, professional and continuing studies & online initiatives at the University of Delaware effective January 15, 2019. Jim holds a secondary appointment in the College of Education and Human Development. Before returning to Delaware in 1988, Jim held program and leadership roles at the University of…

Read More

Exposing Generation Z and Millennials in the Enrollment Management Process

With Halloween only recently past, ghosts still are among us in society. They live among and can frequent colleges and universities, even our professional, continuing and online education units through “ghosting.” Ghosting is a term often associated with younger generations regarding relationships. However, the phrase has recently started entering the workplace with new hires not…

Read More

Announcing: 2019 eDC ThinkTank Roadshow

After successfully piloting virtual ThinkTanks in 2018 with Utah State University and Oregon State University, we’re happy to announce the 2019 eDC ThinkTank Roadshow schedule. We’ve tweaked things a bit and the 2019 eDC ThinkTanks will now be free and open to all members of UPCEA! Non-members will be charged a nominal registration fee. We…

Read More

The Nation's Top Universities Choose UPCEA Consulting

Informed decisions. Ideas that work. The data you need. Trusted by the top universities in the nation.