Developing learning spaces and Andragogues’ roles: The C-Star Framework of Large Class Collaboration and Engagement

Presenters: Rouxelle De Villiers, Joanna Scott-Kennell and Martin Kirstein


As class sizes grow, subject or paper content expands, complexity increases and micro-modules are demanded by industry leaders and students alike — this study argues that a shift in mind-set from teacher to enabler through the development of learning spaces is essential to large class engagement (LaCE) at tertiary level. Drawing on previous work in the area of engagement and management, the paper develops the ‘C-Star’ framework based on five learning spaces – clusters, communication, challenge, co-creation and collaboration – that enable learning through engagement in large class contexts.

The context considers both in-personal teaching/learning and self-directed learning via digital platforms. The role of the large class facilitator (LCF) – as co-ordinator curator, commentator, coach, catalyst and co-creator – is critical to development of these spaces. Attributes, actions, activities and examples of innovative assessment used by the authors to effectuate these learning spaces in management classes are presented. Key insights from the paper are that modern andragogy needs to shift teaching and learning paradigms toward principles of self- and peer-management, shared responsibility to co-create content, and higher order learning through interactive experiential learning, allowing learners to embrace cognitive apprenticeship at their own pace and in their own preferred style.

Some principles and procedures from Design Thinking are borrowed in the presentation of the findings of this paper. Time will be divided into 5 sections: The issue/problem & Empathy for the learner/teacher/employer tripartite; Possible solutions (the model); Possible applications (assessing the suggested strategies); The Prototype (making a mask); Conclusion or Future Implementation.

This session is a demonstration and enactment of problem-framing and collaborative inquiry (by the attendees) and a presentation of a multi-disciplinary cross-cultural study of strategies and tactics (the 5C framework) to ensure large class engagement of adult students in in-person and online teaching interventions.