The theoretical foundations for our project include:

Learner-Managed, Open-Ended Instruction

Characteristics of the learner-managed, open-ended instruction includes dialogue or discussion groups that are self or peer directed.  Learning is authentic and relates to their own needs.  The teacher is in the background as a facilitator and feedback can come from several different sources; the learner has a variety of choices for support during instruction.  The learners have control over goals and outcomes and their own progress (Coomey & Stephenson, 2001)

Adaptive Transformative Pedagogy

“Adaptive transformative pedagogy may be the greatest challenge and the true future of higher education and the learner will be at the core. The student will be paramount in mediating his or her own learning. Learner control will emerge as the dominant characteristic of ‘every time, every place for everybody’ learning” (Doherty, as cited in Coomey & Stephenson, 2001, p. 50).

Social Constructivism

Social constructivism is based on the work of Lev Vygotsky. The central idea of social constructivism “emphasizes the importance of culture and context in understanding what occurs in society and constructing knowledge based on this understanding” (Kim, 2001, p. 2).  Stacey (2002) expands upon this by pointing out that “learning is interactive with a need for social interaction so that the learner can explain understandings and receive feedback, to clarify meaning and reach a group consensus” (p. 2).

Sociocultural Theory

Cociocultural theory is based on the work of Lev Vygotsky that focuses more on examining the culture of certain groups and the social connections they make (Mahn, 1999).


Connectivism is “the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories” (Siemens, 2005). Connectivism has also been described as a hypothesis of learning which emphasizes the role of social and cultural context.


Heutagogy is a relatively new concept that really focuses on combining formal and informal learning in a way that focuses on learning how to learn (Blaschke, 2012).  Heutagogy embraces such as ideas as universal learning opportunities, non-linear learning processes, and true learner self-direction in addition to combining informal learning with formal learning (Blaschke, 2012; Hase & Kenyon, 2000).


Blaschke, L. M. (2012). Heutagogy and lifelong learning: A review of heutagogical practice and self-determined learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13(1), 56-71.

Coomey, M., & Stephenson, J. (2001). Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control-according to the research.

Hase, S., & Kenyon, C. (2000). From andragogy to heutagogy. Ultibase Articles, 5(3), 1-10.

Kim, B. (2001). Social constructivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from:,%20Teaching,%20and%20Technology.pdf

Mahn, H. (1999). Vygotsky’s methodological contribution to sociocultural theory. Remedial and Special Education, 20(6), 341-350.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), 3-10.

Stacey, E. (2002). Learning links online: Establishing constructivist and collaborative learning environments. In S. McNamara and E. Stacey (Eds), Untangling the Web: Establishing Learning Links. Proceedings ASET Conference 2002. Melbourne, 7-10 July.

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An Example of a Future Technology Based Learning Envronment