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Cybergogy is an instructional design model created by Wang et al.

Minjuan Wang revised this entry thoroughly on Nov. 30, 2009


The application of educational technology has created a new teaching and learning concept – Cybergogy. One of the central elements of cybergogy is the intent to combine fundamentals of both pedagogy and andragogy to arrive at a new approach to learning (Carrier & Moulds, 2003). Cybergogy focuses on helping adults and young people to learn by facilitating and technologically enabling learner-centered autonomous and collaborative learning in a virtual environment. At the core of cybergogy is awareness that strategies used for face-to-face learning may not be the same used in the virtual environment.

Facilitators need to be mindful of Cybergogy. As many studies reveal, learner’s active engagement in the learning process affects their learning outcomes. In any learning environment, truly engaged learners are behaviorally, intellectually, and emotionally involved in their learning tasks (Wang & Kang, 2006; Wang, 2007). Cybergogy for Engaged Learning Model is created by Dr. Minjuan Wang (Educational Technology, San Diego State University), and Dr. Myunghee Kang(Educational Technology, Ewha Womans University, South Korea). This model is a synthesis of current thinking, concepts, and theoretical frameworks on the extent and nature of the domains in learner online engagement. The Cybergogy model is published as a book chapter (Wang & Kang, 2006), a peer-reviewed journal article (Wang, 2008), and also recognized as an innovative model for instructional design (Wang, 2008).

The Cybergogy for Engaged Learning model, as Wang and Kang (2006) present, has three overlapping/intersecting domains: cognitive, emotive, and social (see the figure). The authors argue that engaged learning will occur when the critical factors in each domain are well attended, so as to encourage learners’ cognitive, emotive, and social presence. This model is created particularly for online settings that involve more generative and constructive learning activities. For the online learning experience to be successful, students must be furnished with prior knowledge, motivated to learn, and positively engaged in the learning process. In addition, Wang and Kang suggest, students must also be comfortable with the learning environment and feel a strong sense of community and social commitment. The Cybergogy for Engaged Learning model could be used to conduct needs assessment and to lay out course design and facilitation techniques. Instructors could use this model to profile each student’s cognitive, emotive and social attributes and then effectively engage learners by addressing individual’s learning needs and attributes (Wang & Kang, 2006). The authors identify methods that instructors can use to detect learners’ emotional cues and cultivate their positive feelings; to increase learners’ self-confidence and arouse their curiosity through course design and e-facilitation; to conduct online communication and build a supportive learning environment. Therefore, the term “Cybergogy” becomes a descriptive label for the strategies for creating engaged learning online.

Cybergogy for engaged learning (Wang et al.)

The Cybergogy model values affective learning as highly as cognitive learning, and sees the two as interwoven. The authors (2006) argue that current educational systems must value the learner over the curriculum, and must tolerate learning outcomes that may be less predictable but highly worthwhile.

The Cybergogy for Engaged Learning model also provides a framework for generating meaningful and engaging learning experiences for distance students with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Engagement is positively correlated with motivation, which may be prompted in different ways for culturally different students. There are four motivational conditions that the instructor and the learners collaboratively create. First, cultivating learners’ competence about being effective in learning valuable things; second, creating a respectful and connected learning atmosphere; third, helping learners develop favorable attitudes toward the learning experience through personal relevance and choice; and fourth, creating challenging and thoughtful learning experiences that are consistent with learners’ perspectives and values.

Cybergogy Model for Engaged Learning reflects the systemic approach to online learning. The key features of this systemic view include: a) putting the right people, elements and resources in place to succeed; b) evaluating results through learning outcomes; and c) providing feedback and taking action to maintain alignment with established educational and societal goals. Factors in the cognitive, emotive, and social domains are identified as critical elements in a learning environment when used as input in the system described. These input elements together transform the learning system into cognitive, emotive, and social presence, and they finally generate engaged learning as a whole. As a consequence, learners will not only have the opportunity to accomplish their learning goals, but also will be actively involved in the learning process.

Since its creation, this model has been validated and tested in a handful of systematic studies (e.g., Kang et al., 2009; Wang, Shen, & Novak, 2008; Shen, Wang, & Pan, 2008; Wang, Novak, & Pacino, 2009; Shen et al., 2009; Scopes, 2009; Cronin, McMahon & Waldron, 2009).


  • Carrier, S. I., & Moulds, L. D. (2003). Pedagogy, andragogy, and cybergogy: exploring best-practice paradigm for online teaching and learning. Sloan-C 9th International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALN), Orlando, USA PPT
  • Cronin, J., McMahon, J.P. & Waldron, M. (2009). Critical survey of information technology use in higher education -- blended classrooms. In C. R. Payne (Ed.). Information technology and constructivism in higher education: progressive learning frameworks, (pp.203-215). Hershey and New York: Information Science Reference.
  • Wang, M. J. & Kang, J. (2006). Cybergogy of engaged learning through information and communication technology: A framework for creating learner engagement. In D. Hung & M. S. Khine (Eds.), Engaged learning with emerging technologies (pp. 225-253). New York: Springer Publishing.
  • Wang, M. J. (2007). Designing online courses that effectively engage learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(2), 294-311.
  • Wang, M. J. (2008). Cybergogy for engaged learning. Journal of Open and Distance Education in China, 14(2), 14-22.
  • Kang, M., Jung, J., Park, M. S., & Park, H. J. (2009). Impact of learning presence on learner interaction and outcome in web-based project learning. Proceedings of the 9th international conference on Computer supported collaborative learning, 2, 62-64.
  • Wang, M. J., Shen, R. M., & Novak, D. (2008). Assessing the effectiveness of mobile learning in large hybrid/blended learning classrooms. In J. Fong, R. Kwan, & F. L. Wang (Eds.): Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Theoretical Computer Science and General Issues, 5169, (pp. 304-315). Berlin: Springer Publishing.
  • Shen, R. M., Wang, M. J., & Pan, X.Y. (2008). Increasing interactivity in blended classrooms through a cutting-edge mobile learning system. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(6), 1073-1086.
  • Shen, R. M., Wang, M. J., Gao, W. P., Novak, D., & Tang, L. (2009). Mobile Learning in a large blended computer science classroom: System function, pedagogies, and their impact on learning. IEEE Transactions on Education, 52(4),538-546.
  • Scopes, L.J.M. (2009) Learning archetypes as tools of Cybergogy for a 3D educational landscape: a structure for eTeaching in Second Life. University of Southampton, School of Education, Masters Thesis, 103pp. Retrieved Nov. 30, 2009 from