Learning for Life: Preparing Learners for the Complexities of the Workplace Today and Tomorrow


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Today s learners need to be well-prepared for the complex demands of ever-fluctuating, international business environments. To help students contend with this rapid pace of change, our institutions of higher education need to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure their success. But how to achieve this when what we teach learners today can easily change and even be irrelevant tomorrow? Heutagogy provides meaningful, pedagogical guidance for navigating a shifting higher education landscape, as well as a rapidly evolving technological one. This keynote will discuss the barriers that have kept us from implementing heutagogy within higher education in the past and the more recent developments that are causing those barriers to slowly begin slipping away. We will also consider why it is necessary for higher education to adopt forms heutagogical practice in order to prepare students for lifelong learning and the web 2.0 and social media that help us do just that.

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  • Learner-centered learning. Instructors and institutions are no longer at the center. Learners are.
  • Paths of learning ar not linear, but divergent. It’s also about connections with new guides, new gurus, new learning resources, other learners.Graphic: Design of the digital storytelling MOOChttp://wcetblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/ds106/
  • Instructors are no longer the sage on the stage, the learning guru. Heutagogy is about instructors as guides and facilitators. Instructors providing guidance and resources as needed, working together with the learner to define the learning path (road map).
  • Where does the institution fit in?Still trying to define their role in a heutagogical learning environment. Initially thought of them as curators. Better: providing a support network.Providing platforms and support; helping learners find their individual learning paths and make connections with guides
  • Here are the benefits.Based on initial research by Canning & Callan (2010), Ashton & Elliott (2008), Ashton & Newman (2006), here are some of the benefits of a heutagogical approach (see slide)Why it should (review list of benefits):Most importantly, prepares learners for complex workforce by giving them a better understanding of how they learn
  • So if there are so many benefits, why don‘t we see an explosion of heutagogical practice in our institutions?Ask audience: Why do you think it hasn‘t been adopted in institutions?
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR5ApYxkU-UEducation:As Stewart has noted, today‘s education has been designed for industrialization, assembly line production of industry workersFocus on the instructor as the source of all learning, with passive consumption by learnersDesigned to funnel information into the learner brain for rote memory and retrieval„Sorts“ through learners as productsLearner meets institutional requirements, which dictates whether learning has occurredSuccess is defined by the institutionEven so, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that students are „Woefully unprepared“ for the workforce.As you have heard from Stewart already, though, heutagogy doesn‘t support these principles
  • Here are a few reasons why heutagogy has been slow to adoption.Institutional resistance (ivory tower syndrome, fear of losing control)Institutions don‘t want learners deciding what they will learn and how they will learn it. How do you control learners in such an environment where everyone is learning what they want to learn?Institutions are also driven by government regulators and accreditation agencies who play an influential role in dictating institutional policy.
  • Instructor resistance (fear of losing control)Instructors may have difficulty with assessment; because it’s learner-centered, assessment needs to be learner-specific.Heutagogy also means more work for the instructor; learning is no longer standardized.It also means handing over responsibility of learning to the learners. This changing role can be difficult to adjust to for instructors.
  • Learner resistance (fear of taking control)Learners still want to be spoon-fed their education to a large degree. And they don’t always see the opportunities.
  • Headlines from around the world.Forces of technology and globalization Education costs are increasingValue of education is decreasingCompetition among institutionsThe mountain may look stable---but an avalanche is on its way.And just recently: March 20, from The Chronicle: “The State University of New York’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday endorsed an ambitious vision for how SUNY might use prior-learning assessment, competency-based programs, and massive open online courses to help students finish their degrees in less time, for less money.”PLA, competency-based programs, MOOCs: all approaches and platforms that align with and support heutagogical learning.
  • MOOCs have shaken the pillars of education’s ivory towers, providing free Ivy League education to thousands of learners around the world. Who is in control?Learners are in class all the time. “With the Twitter hashtag, class is always open…It never ends.”Helen Keegan, EDEN Research Workshop, Leuven, Belgium (October 23, 2012)[Use the Twitter hashtag #heuta13 to see.]Blogs and wikis give learners an opportunity to create and collaborate on content. Self-publishing on the net.Digital badges: Learners can collect these as they define their pathway of learned skills and competencies.
  • Here are additional ideas.
  • Double-loop learning --- leading to transformative learning
  • Building competencies to lead to capabilities, in particular through the use of social media.
  • Would be a need for learner contracts such as those at Empire State College.
  • Three important take-aways for preparing for that change.
  • Learning for Life: Preparing Learners for the Complexities of the Workplace Today and Tomorrow

    1. 1. LEARNING FOR LIFE:Preparing Learners for the Complexities ofthe Workplace Today and TomorrowLisa Marie BlaschkeCarl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
    2. 2. HEUTAGOGY IS ABOUT… Learners at the Center ReflectingSelf- on what isdetermined learned andin learning howDeveloping Assessingcompetencies ownand developmentcapabilities and progess
    3. 3. HEUTAGOGY IS ABOUT… Non-linear Designs and Connectionscreative commonsimage from Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Internet_map_1024.jpg
    4. 4. HEUTAGOGY IS ABOUT… Instructors as Guides
    5. 5. HEUTAGOGY IS ABOUT… Institutions as Support Networks
    6. 6. BENEFITS OF HEUTAGOGY Improves critical thinking and reflection Increases learner engagement and motivation Gives learners more control over learning (learner-centered) Improves ability of learners to investigate and question ideas – and apply knowledge in practical situations Supports development of independent ideas and self- confidence Makes learners more capable and able to adapt to new environments Better prepares them for the complexities of the workforce
    7. 7. HEUTAGOGY DEFINEDHeutagogy is the study ofself-determined learning andapplies a holistic approach todeveloping learnercapabilities with the learnerserving as “the major agent intheir own learning, whichoccurs, as a result of personalexperience”(Hase & Kenyon, 2007, p.112)
    9. 9. EDUCATION TODAY "Employers say that recent graduates often dont know how to communicate effectively, and struggle with adapting, problem-solving, and making decisions”
    10. 10. INSTITUTIONAL RESISTANCE Fear of losing control of:  Certification / Assessment  Learners Influence of oversight agencies
    11. 11. INSTRUCTOR RESISTANCE Fear of losing control of:  Classroom  Learning and teaching  Learners Shift from center court to the sidelines
    12. 12. LEARNER RESISTANCE Fear of taking control of and being responsible for learning
    13. 13. BUT CHANGE IS COMING“The increasingdemand for education “An avalanche is coming” Institute for Public Policy Researchthat is customized to (2013) Reporteach student‟s unique “If you‟re a student…it is “The State University of Newneeds is driving the York‟s Board of Trustees on no longer a question ofdevelopment of new Tuesday endorsed an ambitious choosing a degreetechnologies that vision for how SUNY might use course you want to do at prior-learningprovide more learner a university…It‟s a assessment, competency-choice and control and based programs, and massive question ofallow for differentiated open online courses to help thinking…„How will I students finish their degrees ininstruction.” keep learning through my less time, for less money.” HORIZON (2013) Steve Kolowich, The Chronicle of life, how do I combine a Report Higher Education, March 20, 2013 range of educational experiences not just from “Revolution hits the one university but also from a range of universities” Thomas Friedman, New York Times (January 26, 2013) universities - potentially around the world?‟” Sir Michael Barber, Times Higher Education (March 13, 2013)
    14. 14. DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGY # Twitter #heuta13 Blogs Massive open online courses (MOOCs) Wikis Badges (Mozilla)
    15. 15. HOW WEB 2.0 ENABLES HEUTAGOGY Connectivity with others Wikis (Collaborate Discovery and sharing Open and create) Educational of information Resources Blogs (OER) (Create and Personal collection and (Collect and reflect) adapt) Self- adaptation of information determine (McLoughlin & Lee, 2007) MOOCs d learning Twitter (Connect, collaborate, (Discover and share) and share) LinkedIn (Connect)
    17. 17. DEVELOP LEARNER AUTONOMY Consider learners‟ level of autonomy and adjust accordingly  Learner questionnaires  Learner contracts  Learner-directed questions and discussions
    18. 18. ENCOURAGE REFLECTION Build learner skills while allowing them to determine and reflect on their learning path  Scaffolding of learning activities to create frameworks for learning/discovery  Learner-directed questions  Action research
    19. 19. LET LEARNERS CREATE AND PLAY Incorporate activities for self-reflection, self- and information- discovery, experimenta tion, and collaborative information creation  Learning journals  Collaborative group work  Communities of practice
    20. 20. BUILD SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES Support development of personal knowledge management, digital literacy, and social collaboration skills  Skill building activities  Social networking and collaboration tools
    21. 21. ALLOW LEARNERS TO DEFINE SUCCESS Assess learner achievement by negotiating the assessment process and making curriculum flexible  Formative assessment  Learning contracts  Self-assessment
    22. 22. USE OPEN LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS Choose a learning environment that supports free and open learning  MOOC  Personal learning environment (PLE)  Communities of practice (CoPs) and community networks
    23. 23. CHANGE IS COMING Our approach to teaching/training needs to be learner-centered, not institution or instructor-centered. We need to give learners the freedom – and the guidance and support – to become self-determined learners. Social media tools help us do both.
    24. 24. JOIN US! Heutagogy Community of Practice:  Website: http://heutagogycop.wordpress.com/  LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Heutagogy- Community-Practice-4776262
    25. 25. QUESTIONS?Lisa Marie BlaschkeLisa.Blaschke@Uni-Oldenburg.deFor more information:(www.slideshare.net)