About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6655-6664
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.1538

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain


N. Agonács, J.F. Matos

Universidade de Lisboa (PORTUGAL)
The term heutagogy was introduced by Hase and Kenyon in 2000 as the study of self- determined learning [1]. It roots in andragogy (the study of self-directed learning) although it goes beyond when it places the focus on the learner and his or her development. The learner is responsible for the learning path, hence being able to decide not only on how but also on what to learn [1]. One of the key concepts lying behind heutagogy is capability. It is the ability to use the acquired capacity also in novel situations, and it represents a key concept when it comes to educating future workforces for the 21st-century complex and ever-changing workplace environments [1]. Flexibility, the ability to quick shift, and rapid adaptation to new situations are at the kernel of efficacy and productivity in those domains [1]. Thus, there is a strong call for training models that create and develop capable lifelong learners prepared to continuous switches and have an eagerness to learn [1]. Since MOOCs are destined to masses they would be a great tool to achieve changes in the training process of learners quickly and in great dimensions. However, the bad reputation of MOOCs is quite strong in education mainly due to their high dropout rate. Several difficulties are identified in massive courses by the literature such as the lack of course structure, lack of skills in use of tools, and lack of social and teaching presence [2]. MOOCs, because of lacking all those characteristics that learners are normally used to, require self-discipline and self-guidance in a rather intentional way when compared to other forms of training. It seems to be assumed that the learners who take MOOCs have all the skills that would allow them to learn efficiently in such an environment. However, for many participants MOOCs are the very first experience in a context where their responsibility and their willingness to produce learning trajectories is challenged. It seems to be clear that there is a gap consisting of the lack of guidance on how to become an efficient learner in such a “non-traditional” learning environment as a MOOC, which causes intimidation and abandonment [2]. The perspective of heutagogy offers elements that may turn into possible characteristics of MOOCs helping to overlap the gap given that through critical reflection learners take their own learning process as an object of analysis, acquiring new knowledge on how to learn in an unstructured system [1]. Heutagogy can flourish in a Web 2.0 environment, and it has already been proposed as a framework for distance education [1]. As part of web 2.0. MOOCs inherently carry heutagogical principals in their design but those should be intentional, planned and intensified.

The aim of this paper is to discuss the ways MOOCs can really become heutagogical instances. This is part of a research project which main objective is to identify the fundamental characteristics for an effective heutagogical MOOC (hMOOC) and consequently to create a framework for hMOOC.

[1] Blaschke, L.M. & Hase, S. (2015): Heutagogy: A holistic framework for creating twenty-first-century self-determined learners. In Gros, B.; Kinushuk, B.; Maina, M. (Eds.), The future of ubiquitous learning (pp. 25-40). Springer.
[2] Wasson, C. (2013). “It was like a little community”: An ethnographic study of online learning and its implications for MOOCs. Paper presented at Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) at the Royal Institution of London.
author = {Agon{\'{a}}cs, N. and Matos, J.F.},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.1538},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.1538},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {6655-6664}}
AU - N. Agonács AU - J.F. Matos
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.1538
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 6655
EP - 6664
ER -
N. Agonács, J.F. Matos (2017) PERSPECTIVES ON MOOCS AS HEUTAGOGY INSTANCES, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 6655-6664.