“Although we’re hearing a lot about online learning because of arguments about how to reopen schools, colleges and universities, it’s been an educational tool for decades.” This article in today’s Age is worth a read, “Online learning good in the mix” (note it was the title in the digital version that hooked me in, “Face-to-face learning is not always best”

Online learning good in the mix

Whilst I love online learning for myself, I believe that a blended model is best used in K-12 settings. Schools will implement it for different reasons but in 2020 it’s mostly a reactionary response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many for whom it forms the basis of their business model e.g. School of the Air, The Royal Children’s Hospital Institute etc It should never be implemented as a cost-saving measure or you’ll be bitterly disappointed (the cost of IT infrastructure alone can make it prohibitive to many) but for those invested in moving from a pedagogical approach to heutagogy it’s a no brainer.

Heutagogy (self-determined learning) until very recently was only ever spoken about in the HEd context. In heutagogy, the learner is at the centre of their own learning. The heutagogical approach recognises the need to be flexible in the learning where the educator is the content expert and provides resources but the learner designs the curriculum by negotiating the learning.

With advances in technology directly impacting learning, digital learning methodologies promote autonomy and a learner-centred approach that are completely aligned with heutagogy. A heutagocial approach is perfectly suited to a School with an LMS delivering online learning but how many will make this leap do you think?

“Heutagogy is the study of self-determined learning … It is also an attempt to challenge some ideas about teaching and learning that still prevail in teacher centred learning and the need for, as Bill Ford (1997) eloquently puts it ‘knowledge sharing’ rather than ‘knowledge hoarding’. In this respect heutagogy looks to the future in which knowing how to learn will be a fundamental skill given the pace of innovation and the changing structure of communities and workplaces.”

lHase, S. and Kenyon, C. (2000). From andragogy to heutagogy. Ultibase, RMIT. http://ultibase.rmit.edu.au/Articles/dec00/hase2.htmllll

If you are interested in discovering more about Heutagogy I suggest you visit the Heutagogy Community of Practice.