Developing the digital self-determined learner through heutagogical design

Gillaspy, Emma orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6725-3331 and Vasilica, Cristina (2021) Developing the digital self-determined learner through heutagogical design. Higher Education Pedagogies, 6 (1). pp. 135-155.

[thumbnail of Version of Record]
PDF (Version of Record) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


Official URL:


This empirical qualitative study investigates whether the introduction of heutagogy in contemporary nursing education can foster the development of the digital self-determined learner, who is prepared to work and live in the fourth industrial age and beyond. The impact of heutagogical design on learner process and outcomes is explored through qualitative framework analysis of learner data and reflective educator observations. Findings suggest that with careful scaffolding and courage in remaining true to the educational philosophy, this approach has the potential to develop learners who demonstrate key principles of heutagogy including non-linear learning, learner agency, capability, self-reflection and metacognition and double-loop learning. This innovative study provides insight into the process of developing the self-determined learner and encourages further research into flexible and learner-centred approaches across Higher Education.

Repository Staff Only: item control page