flickr photo shared by mrkrndvs under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

During a conversation at DigiCon15, I was asked to clarify, ‘What is Heutagogy?’

I first heard the word Heutagogy via Steve Wheeler’s blog. However, it was not until I stumbled upon the collection of essays in Experiences in Self-Determined Learning via Jon Andrews that my attention was truly piqued. What stuck out the most was that there was not necessarily one unifying definition. Instead, I was left with a range of quotes, each adding a particular perspective:

“Learning is intrinsic to the learner, and the educator is but an agent, as are many of the resources so freely available these days.”

Stewart Hase

“Let learners choose what they will learn and how they will learn it”

Lisa Marie Blaschke

“If heutagogy is about self-determined learning by self-authoring learners, then assessment in a heutagogical context becomes a metacognitive aspect of the learning process.”

Melanie Booth

With Education 3.0, the educator’s role truly becomes that of guide-as-the-side, coach, resource-suggester, and cheerleader as learners create their own learning journey. The educator has more life experience, knows (hopefully) about the process of learning, and has more procedural knowledge about how to find, identify, and use informational resources and social networking for learning purposes.”

Jackie Gerstein

“From a self-determined learning perspective learners need to be able to take control of their learning.”

Stewart Hase

To get a different perspective, I put the question out there on Twitter to see what I would get


As I scrolled through the different responses it struck me, to define heutogogy in some ways misses something. The reality is that heutagogy is many things to many people and maybe what matters most is how you define it yourself.

So don’t let me decide for you. Maybe you like one of the definitions presented or maybe a combination. Whatever it is, for it to be meaningful, make sure it is yours.

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