Daily Archives: February 13, 2015

Foster Module 4 Using scholarblogs to promote transformation from andragogy to heutragogy

Learning-Centered Assessment: After reading the provided resources on self-evaluated and self-directed heutagogical learning, describe your initial thoughts about designing an entire online/blended course or even just an assignment around these ideas/methods. Will you (or have you) consider these approaches? Why or why not? If so, briefly outline your idea(s). The resources that were provided to you were just a start. Feel free to research more to gain additional traction on these types of assessment.

Here is my thinking about this. I will first summarize a new term for me: heutagogical learning.

Andragogy is the educational theoretical underpinning of the self-directed learner; heutagogy is the educational underpinnings of the self-determined learner. The facilitator is still a mentor and tutor, but there is a difference: The facilitator surrenders the learning path to the learner, who determines what will be learned and how it will be learned. In heutagogy, there are two components, competence and capability. So, not only is the knowledge acquired, but also the learners develop confidence that that they will have the capability to identify and solve the discipline-specific problems they are learning about, but to apply them in multiple and unfamiliar settings. Competent learners have specific knowledge and skills. Capable learners can reproduce knowledge and skills in unfamiliar settings. This is what is needed in complex and changing work environments, such as nursing, which is changing so fast in a complex environment.


So there is a continuum, with pedagogy requiring the most structure and scaffolding, building to andragogy, to heutagogy, needing the least scaffolding of all.

So I am in the process of developing an online/blended course for graduate nurses who are seeking to become advanced practice nurses, specifically nurse-midwives. This is part of a post-master’s certificate in nurse-midwifery that we are endeavoring to develop within the School of Nursing at Emory.  As graduate students, I think that our students will be self-directed (-based on the current face-to-face cohort-). Yet as a group, they will not necessarily be self-determined, except for some of them. But perhaps the whole point is to seek to transform the self-directed ones to be more self-determined.

There is a delicate balance to maintain however. Students need to master certain core knowledge, skills, and attitudes to achieve the core competencies of midwifery education. They must pass a national certification exam at the end of their program in order to be eligible to practice as a nurse-midwife. I do think assignments can be crafted to encourage self-determined learning, as long as it has boundaries that require students to explore with the goal of the basic core competencies that they need to master. I think scholarblogs would be an excellent tool.

There is an interesting article I will add to diigo that discusses how blogs encourage self-directed learning as well as personal information management. How to encourage self-determined learning is based on facilitating a process where learners truly feel the   freedom to master the objectives in their own way. Here is the link  about blogging and self-directed learning (the transition to self-determined can be built with assignments asking them to think in more complex ways:


So students can be given boundaries. Make the objectives very clear what they need to master. But they can explore how to do this in a variety of ways and then need to write in Scholarblogs about what they are doing and how they might share it in other unfamiliar contexts. This would be an ongoing process throughout the course.

Authentic Assessment in Adrianne’s Class

I am most attracted to the idea of authentic assessments (Mueller, 2014) because it allows students to be held accountable for their ability to apply information in a real-world setting. I think the ability to apply knowledge in meaningful ways is at the top of Blooms Taxonomy and is a four on the depth of knowledge (DOK) levels (Norman, 2005). Having read my “classmates” syllabi I have realized that the course I plan to offer is a little different, but I got a lot of cool ideas from reading about what others plan to do. Because teaching is such a hands-on-field I have questioned if the online platform is the best way to teach teachers how to teach well. With this, I think authentic assessment is the way! I think teachers could record themselves teaching in classrooms and upload it to be graded. My concern is that teachers and students are often very aware when a spectator is in the room, whether it is an instructional coach or a video camera, and classroom behavior is greatly adjusted based on the presence of the outsider. However, I acknowledge that this is the same dilemma that would present itself whether I was actually in the classroom or whether a camera recorded a lesson. Authentic assessment allows me to observe how well teachers can actually perform the task. I can teach about classroom management, they can also understand what they learned; but can they actually manage a classroom! That is the burning question! And that is what I intend to assess.

I would consider authentic assessment my area of strength because I used to serve as an instructional coach and I supported teachers through their actual practice. I think with teacher education application is the goal. I am not really as interested in traditional assessment (fill in the blank, multiple-guess) as teaching is a about application. No student or parent would ever be concerned if you knew the “five stages of classroom management” what matters is can you actually control the classroom and keep students learning in a safe environment. I think there are lot of opportunities for growth and improvement. One concept I really like heutagogical approach of allowing students to be involved in the creation of the learning process. I think that allows for students to set themselves up for successful outcomes. I wonder how that can be negotiated in the online classroom? Especially because they syllabus, or my vision for the course, is already created. Also thought that learning through mastery (or teaching to show mastery) is a great way to allow students to take true ownership of the knowledge acquired in the course.

I think adobeconnect would be an ideal platform to host this kind of learning.