Negotiating co-ownership of learning in higher education : an underexplored practice for adult learning

Owusu-Agyeman, Yaw ; Fourie-Malherbe, Magda (2019)

CITATION: Owusu-Agyeman, Y. & Fourie-Malherbe, Magda. 2019. Negotiating coownership of learning in higher education: an underexplored practice for adult learning, Studies in Continuing Education, 41(1):17-35. doi:10.1080/0158037X.2018.1497591

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Adults who enrol in higher education institutions (HEIs) often have contributions that could serve in enhancing the planning and implementation of their programmes. Importantly, while terms such as active learner engagement and knowledge co-creation dominate adult learning discussions, there are unanswered questions pertaining to how adult learners negotiate co-ownership of their learning. The current empirical study explores the relevant factors that could enhance adult learners’ involvement in negotiating co-ownership of learning in a higher education setting. A mixed method of gathering and analysing data from adult learners (n = 200) was followed. While structural equation modelling (SEM) served as the quantitative data analysis method, codes, categories and themes developed from the focus group discussions and interviews were used to analyse the qualitative data. The study revealed that negotiating co-ownership of learning among adult learners in HEIs is influenced by the level of engagement and adult learners’ acquisition of relevant core knowledge and skills. The authors discuss the implications of the results by reflecting on the pluses of negotiating co-ownership of learning at the institutional and classroom levels while also showing how the lack of these provisions could hinder effective learning among adult learners.

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