#LTHEchat 214: Lifelong Learning – Instilling the Desire to Continue to Learn. Led by Matt Cornock @mattcornock & Sandra Huskinson @FieryRed1

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Last year we ran a #LTHEchat on learning design and how we think about planning and designing activities for learning. The final question on how we can ‘design in’ ways to support learners how to learn was an area worthy of further exploration. This is particularly the case as new ways of teaching and learning have developed further as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, including fully online programmes, hybrid and hyflex pedagogy, and a focus on small group face-to-face teaching. For many students, these ways of learning are new, not just for first year undergraduates, but also for returning students who have not had on-campus exposure to typical ways of learning in disciplines due to a variety of restrictions. 

This #LTHEchat will provide space to discuss ways of learning in subject areas, but also focus on how these ways of learning extend beyond the curriculum and formal learning programmes. Empowering students to continue learning after they have graduated is an important part of higher education, influenced by both policy and economic drivers, but also providing opportunities for innovation in programme design. Active Learning pedagogy, situated learning, critical thinking and reflective practice all contribute to enabling students to identify and address learning needs throughout their professional careers. These professional learning needs can be addressed through formal programmes, such as online degrees taken alongside work, or informal, ad hoc learning, from simply watching videos to completing self-study open access short courses. However, we would argue that for students to navigate, build and take ownership of their own personal learning environment, that intersects both formal and informal settings, requires deliberate approaches to be embedded within curriculum and programme design. 

We hope this discussion will provide reflection on current practice and spark interest in the interplay between ways of learning in higher education and professional learning. 

Further reading

Coldham, S., Armsby, P. and Flynn, S. (2021) ‘Learning For, At and Through Work’, in Pokorny, H. and Warren, D. (eds.) Enhancing Teaching Practice in Higher Education. 2nd Ed. London: Sage.

Kirschner, P.A. and Hendrick, C. (2020) ‘The culture of learning’, in How Learning Happens. Abingdon: Routledge.

Wheeler, S. (2019) Digital Learning in Organisations. London: Kogan Page.


Image of Matt Cornock

Matt Cornock, MEng MA SCMALT @mattcornock | http://mattcornock.co.uk Matt has worked for over 15 years in both higher education and professional learning sectors, supporting colleagues in technology-enhanced learning and leading learning design for professional development programmes. He is a senior leader in digital education and is a Senior Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology. He has led the implementation and evaluation of learning technologies and innovation in learning and teaching both at department and institutional level. Matt’s independent research interests focus on learning design, online education and professional learning

Image of Sandra Huskinson

Sandra Huskinson Ba(Hons) MSc @fieryred1 Sandra is an educational consultant. She has a background in multimedia design studying a Bretton Hall College, University of Leeds and University of Nottingham. She has held a variety of roles including medical artist, design manager and works as a freelance elearning and multimedia consultancy for a variety of organisations.


Q1. Think back to your own education. What examples can you provide of when you were motivated to learn beyond the curriculum?

Q2. What teaching activities are typical in your subject? Think about what makes these distinct to your discipline, e.g. specific approaches you use in your subject.

Q3. How do you enable students to learn from those teaching activities? Think about support you have in place for learning how to learn.

Q4. How do you embed opportunities for students to reflect and develop their approach to learning as part of curriculum design?

Q5. What ways do you enable students to identify their own learning needs and set learning goals?

Q6. How might you design in to programmes the opportunities for students to go beyond the curriculum and to address personal learning goals?

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