Digital andragogy

A 21st century approach to tertiary education


  • Rachel Sheffield
  • Susan Ellen Blackley



digital andragogy, tertiary learners, digital affordances


This paper revisits the term “andragogy” (adult education) and develops new ways of working in tertiary education based upon an analysis of the skills and dispositions of 21st century learners through the lens of adult education, and the affordances of readily accessible digital technologies. These ways of working constitute what we term “digital andragogy”. In order to engage and retain students and revitalise tertiary education, lecturers need to take account of the profiles of their learners and seek to create learning spaces that best suit their needs and wants. We posit that tertiary learners should be encouraged and supported to transition from pedagogical practices experienced in their school years to tertiary education contexts for learning that are grounded in digital andragogy. Described in this paper is a proof-of-concept project that is currently being undertaken with 88 undergraduate students in a Bachelor of Education Primary course.