Mobagogy – Empowering Learners

We are familiar with terms such as pedagogy and andragogy. There are even learning theories on heutagogy (self-determined learning) and paragogy (learning from peers). Not too long ago, researchers are beginning to look into mobagogy. What is mobagogy? Literally defined, it means learning led by micro-learning, and made accessible through mobile technologies.

What are the features of mobagogy? It is continuous (in time and in space; i.e. presumably anytime, anywhere). It is learner directed, and it affords networked-thinking and learning.

As I apply mobagogy into organisational learning, I have come to realise that power play is the most challenging issue facing mobagogy. You see, while learning is an individual enterprise, learning hardly ever exists in total isolation to just the learner himself/herself. Learning exists within a power zone. When we attend a lesson with an institution, we enter into a power zone that supports the learning. This power zone comprises of the mega system (state policies), the macro system (institutional policies), meso system (classroom policies) and micro system (facilitator policies).

Institutional training (I would like to distinguish learning from training) has been the most preferred (and credible?) model of training because the provider has the power to manage the training process and training outcomes. But the pervasiveness and advances in mobile technologies and associated applications are greatly disrupting training and influencing learning. The conventional institutional-centric model has to make way for democratised model. With this, there will be power shifts from training provider to distributed organisational or individual power zones. And therein lies both the challenges and opportunities.

In implementing micro-learning with clients, I spend much time managing and navigating the power play within organisations, because the power zone has to be distributed right into the palm of the learner! It is more challenging than implementing an LMS! Technology is hardly the real concern. But if done well, the collective learning power zones are significantly much larger and definitely more powerful!

This is because mobagogy draws together various highly recognised and well-researched learning theories – behaviourism, constructivism, scaffolded learning, situated learning, collaborative learning, social and of course lifelong learning! This is the real empowerment of learning!

Here’s a great video on mobagogy:

This post first appeared in: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mobagogy-empowering-learners-anderson-tan
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