Redesigning Professional Development on Digital Transformation Using Andragogy as a Theoretical Lens
Keywords:Andragogy, Lifelong learning, Course redesign, Technology enhanced learning, Professional development
Regarding the ongoing digitalisation in the knowledge society, professional development seems more crucial than ever. The need for upskilling and reskilling is described as continuous lifelong learning, which must be combined and synchronised with the life of full-time working learners. Content, pedagogical models and instructional design in university courses are often created for students in Bachelor's and Master's programs instead of tailored for adults working full-time. This study describes and discusses andragogy as a potential knowledge base for redesigning professional development courses on digital transformation. Evaluations from two instances of a course for professionals on digital transformation showed that the course participants overall are satisfied with the course. However, only a few course participants take the exam to get credits. Therefore, the research question that guided this study was, "What redesign options for increased pass rates and learner satisfaction in professional development for adult learners can be identified using andragogy as a theoretical lens?" The course is on distance and contains four modules with synchronous and asynchronous learning activities, resulting in five European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The empirical material consisted of course participants' check-in presentation before the course started, mid-term evaluation, final evaluations, and a learning diary containing 58 entries. The data was deductively analysed using the theory of andragogy as an analytical lens. The findings imply that instructors should put effort into how different parts of the course are connected, supporting learners' need to know. Further, to enhance the course participants' prior experience as a resource for learning by adding learning activities, they exchange experiences and examples with each other, adding to their learning process and networking. The pedagogic parts of understanding the theoretical course material could be split into pieces through exercises where the participants apply conceptual models and concepts to real-situation problems. The learning diary could help the participants align the new knowledge with their prior knowledge with a focus on professional roles and work situations. The identified redesign options create opportunities to increase pedagogical parts like readiness, orientation, and motivation to learn according to the current higher education system.