#EDUC90970 How to use heutagogy in higher education?

Last week, I presented to my colleagues in #EDUC90970 on the Pedagogy-Andragogy-Heutagogy continuum (the image links to the presentation).

In a poll of the class, 50% said that they used pedagogy in their teaching, and an equal 25% andragogy and heutagogy (12 responses total). Overwhelmingly, the barrier to heutagogy was thought to be student willingness or preparedness to be able to cope with this approach (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Word cloud of responses to “What barriers/challenges are there to Heutagogy in higher education?”

However, one way in which heutagogy has been successfully applied in higher education is through social networking (e.g., Twitter, Facebook). Students are already very well versed in using this socially, and therefore the jump is not necessarily as large when using these familiar platforms. Indeed, Twitter is increasingly used among researchers to increase exposure and informal connections and discussions (Lee, 2019). However, it is not broadly used in undergraduate teaching. I found two excellent examples of using social media – one for Twitter and Facebook. The example using Facebook by Eachempati et al. (2017), I found particularly interesting. The authors used closed Facebook groups for discussions between groups within the class, and the entire class together. Groups were given clinical problems, and the students in week 1 formulated the learning objectives and topics that needed to be learnt to solve the case. These were then peer-reviewed via the class group. In the second week the students gathered the information needed, and presented their treatment plan to the class discussion group. This was then repeated a second time, followed by reflection on the learning process.

I considered that these type of group discussions could easily be done in Canvas, which is the learning management system the students already use. However, I think a key difference is that these discussion boards are set up by the teacher, whereas the students have ownership and responsibility over the groups in Facebook. This independence increased the confidence of students in their own learning ability (Eachempati et al. 2017).

References

Eachempati P, Kumar K, Komattil R, Ismail ARH. 2017. Heutagogy through Facebook for the Millennial learners. MedEDPublish.

Junco R, Heibergert G, Loken E. The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 27: 119-132.

Lee JM. 2019. How to use Twitter to further your career. Nature Career Column.

6 thoughts on “#EDUC90970 How to use heutagogy in higher education?

  1. Hi Becki,

    Thanks for another interesting post, I was really impressed with your presentation the other week. It was so great to see you take on the challenge of teaching us about heutagogoy using a heutagogic approach, and seemed like a great example of how it could potentially be done. Looking forward to learning more in tomorrow’s class!

    We painstakingly set up Canvas groups in first-year psychology (which was super challenging because you had to create and upload an excel sheet of every student and their designated group). If you have a small cohort it is much easier as you can create groups using a drag and drop method (which was not possible in our large cohort). Despite all this hard work, students did not utilise their groups in the way we had hoped e.g., like a facebook group. In fact, and sadly, they barely touched the space at all.

    I think you are right that the ownership and creation of the group, and perhaps even privacy, might make a difference here. I found out at the end of semester that one of the classes I was teaching had created a facebook group they communicated on regularly, and they were even meeting up on Zoom to study together! It would be wonderful to give all students this opportunity, and perhaps social media/teacher independence is key to this.

    I found this article by Mooney, Southard and Burton (2014) about ‘shifting from obligatory discourse to rich dialogue’ https://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/spring171/mooney_southerland_burton171.html I have often found that student discourse is shallow/obligatory on discussion boards, such as Canvas groups. This article suggests some strategies to promote student interaction in asynchronous threaded discussion postings which could address some of these issues which might be helpful!

    Cheers,

    Caitlyn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Caitlyn,

    Thanks for your reply- I had a similar experience in one of my classes – for a majority of the groups the discussion boards I set-up were to exchange details to create a WhatsApp group! There are so many social media platforms out there now, when I was thinking of how I might use this in class, I thought the first step was probably to find out what the students actually use the most!

    Thanks for the paper suggestion as well – sounds really interesting!

    Looking forward to further discussion about Heutagogy in class.

    Cheers
    Becki

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Becki,

    That was such a great Prezi presentation – I went back to it a few times to look for some further details about it!

    Very interesting on how social media can have a good fit with self-determined learning to get buy-in from students. Thinking from an authentic learning perspective (Herrington & Kevin, 2007), there are at least a couple of other benefits to using social media, such as providing an opportunity for learners to better articulate their understanding in a public space (extra cognitive effort to get to a “worthy publishable” version) and access to experts in the field (it would be nice to have a list of experts to follow!).

    It would be interesting though to see how the students themselves are already using these spaces, as Caitlyn mentioned. Perhaps a Residents and Visitors map creation (White & Le Cornu, 2011) as a fun activity at the beginning of the semester?

    Cheers,
    Paula

    Herrington, J., & Kervin, L. (2007). Authentic learning supported by technology: 10 suggestions and cases of integration in classrooms. Educational Media International, 44(3), 219-236.

    White, David S, & Le Cornu, Alison. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v16i9.3171

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  4. Hi Paula,

    Thanks for your reply, and the suggested references. That is a good point that I hadn’t thought of as well – global connection to experts in the field. A lot of us do this already for research e.g., via Twitter. A great idea about the V&R map to start a semester!

    Cheers
    Becki

    Like

  5. Hi Becki,

    Your presentation on heutagogy was very well done, and I enjoyed the reflection in this post about student discussions on Facebook and Twitter as part of the different teaching and learning models.

    In my course, the students are nearly all destined to enter a rigorously hierarchically-regulated profession (medicine). Hence, from day one they are taught in a pedagogical model that reflects a traditionally paternalistic-dominant model of practising the profession, in order to encourage conformity to practice guidelines. Even in subjects that promote student-initiated ideas that could influence change in the direction of study (e.g. short research tasks), the assessment is based strictly on preset learning objectives. This perpetuates a preoccupation with rigid interpretations around learning objectives in the competitive professional course, often precipitated by conversations around the boundaries of assessment that are transactional in nature (ironically, not necessarily leading to the desired learning outcomes that include agility of thought and originality in synthesising concepts).

    This prompted the thought of whether heutagogy might be intrinsically suited to certain professional courses more than others, or that perhaps some courses that are seeped in tradition have the potential to broaden teaching approaches to include heutagogy. While certain professions (e.g. design, journalism) thrive on creating new content and encourage dynamic innovations that shift paradigms through adopting social media platforms and mobile “Web 2.0” tools, a similar adoption in more conservative courses such as medicine may first require a shift in attitude among practitioner-educators. The first hurdle to overcome is the almost exclusive mental association of social media use with potential privacy issues, due to which the practitioner-educator usually feels obligated by workplace policies to substitute authentic learning materials and authentic opinions with contrived conceptual alternatives just to avoid controversy or future repercussions, but the effect is a reduction in engagement from students, who expect the authentic experience in a vocational course. Privacy and etiquette in the context of social media is, of course, very important. Hence, online privacy and etiquette in the communication of health information might be a good starting point for developing a framework in medical education for including heutagogy in parallel with harnessing ethical use of social media and mobile apps, as it has been shown to be possible in the studies of journalism, graphics design, product design and public relations [Cochrane, Thomas & Antonczak, Laurent & Gordon, Averill & Sissons, Helen & Withell, Andrew. (2012). Heutagogy and mobile social media: Post Web 2.0 pedagogy].

    Through heutagogical delivery of education, students may feel more engaged with their role in the community of practitioners by becoming one. For example, health promotion and combating health misinformation has been identified by pandemic experts fighting on the frontlines as an aspect that students, eager to contribute, can safely and purposefully participate in. The benefits of a subject that encompasses effective health communication as a core learning outcome can be directed by the students’ choice of health issue of interest, choice of intended audience, and choice of campaign design to achieve the intended health outcomes, while the execution and multiple-stakeholder evaluation of their own mini-campaign in health promotion can lead to experiential learning in aspects common to all health communication campaigns (e.g. messaging, reach, interpretations, translational to outcomes, evaluation of outcomes etc). The assessment criteria might be a challenge, as medical students are primed to request preset and rigid assessment criteria prior to any teaching (eternal exam-takers as they are), there is a potential for any ground won by heutagogical methods to yield to a pedagogical default, and be misinterpreted as intrinsically non-viable.

    Like

  6. Hi Becki,

    Your presentation on heutagogy was very well done, and I enjoyed the reflection in this post about student discussions on Facebook and Twitter as part of the different teaching and learning models.

    In my course, the students are nearly all destined to enter a rigorously hierarchically-regulated profession (medicine). Hence, from day one they are taught in a pedagogical model that reflects a traditionally paternalistic-dominant model of practising the profession, in order to encourage conformity to practice guidelines. Even in subjects that promote student-initiated ideas that could influence change in the direction of study (e.g. short research tasks), the assessment is based strictly on preset learning objectives. This perpetuates a preoccupation with rigid interpretations around learning objectives in the competitive professional course, often precipitated by conversations around the boundaries of assessment that are transactional in nature (ironically, not necessarily leading to the desired learning outcomes that include agility of thought and originality in synthesising concepts).

    This prompted the thought of whether heutagogy might be intrinsically suited to certain professional courses more than others, or that perhaps some courses that are seeped in tradition have the potential to broaden teaching approaches to include heutagogy. While certain professions (e.g. design, journalism) thrive on creating new content and encourage dynamic innovations that shift paradigms through adopting social media platforms and mobile “Web 2.0” tools, a similar adoption in more conservative courses such as medicine may first require a shift in attitude among practitioner-educators. The first hurdle to overcome is the almost exclusive mental association of social media use with potential privacy issues, due to which the practitioner-educator usually feels obligated by workplace policies to substitute authentic learning materials and authentic opinions with contrived conceptual alternatives just to avoid controversy or future repercussions, but the effect is a reduction in engagement from students, who expect the authentic experience in a vocational course. Privacy and etiquette in the context of social media is, of course, very important. Hence, online privacy and etiquette in the communication of health information might be a good starting point for developing a framework in medical education for including heutagogy in parallel with harnessing ethical use of social media and mobile apps, as it has been shown to be possible in the studies of journalism, graphics design, product design and public relations (Cochrane et al 2012).

    Through heutagogical delivery of education, students may feel more engaged with their role in the community of practitioners by becoming one. For example, health promotion and combating health misinformation has been identified by pandemic experts fighting on the frontlines as an aspect that students, eager to contribute, can safely and purposefully participate in. The benefits of a subject that encompasses effective health communication as a core learning outcome can be directed by the students’ choice of health issue of interest, choice of intended audience, and choice of campaign design to achieve the intended health outcomes, while the execution and multiple-stakeholder evaluation of their own mini-campaign in health promotion can lead to experiential learning in aspects common to all health communication campaigns (e.g. messaging, reach, interpretations, translational to outcomes, evaluation of outcomes etc). The assessment criteria might be a challenge, as medical students are primed to request preset and rigid assessment criteria prior to any teaching (eternal exam-takers as they are), there is a potential for any ground won by heutagogical methods to yield to a pedagogical default, and be misinterpreted as intrinsically non-viable.

    Any thoughts on scaling those challenges?

    Cheers
    Yi

    Reference:
    [Cochrane, Thomas & Antonczak, Laurent & Gordon, Averill & Sissons, Helen & Withell, Andrew. (2012). Heutagogy and mobile social media: Post Web 2.0 pedagogy]

    Like

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