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Work-based Blended Learning
 

Work-based Blended Learning

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These are slides of my keynote talk at Corporate Learning colloquium held by Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, UK on June 03, 2010.

These are slides of my keynote talk at Corporate Learning colloquium held by Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, UK on June 03, 2010.

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  • Let me begin by saying that I am honoured to be here and to have this opportunity to share with you some of the things my colleagues and I have been working on in the past few years, first at University of Twente and Shell Exploration and Production in the Netherlands and later at Glasgow Caledonian University. The topic of my talk is a work-based blended learning model we developed and implemented at the Shell corporate university in the Netherlands and are now also testing at Glasgow Caledonian University.
  • First I’d like to say a few words about the context of this work. It started in 2002 as part of a 5 year action research collaboration between University of Twente and Shell EP Learning and Leadership Development, which was at the time the home to Shell Corporate Learning Centre and Shell Open University. This partnership involved establishment of a Chair of Networked Learning held by Prof. Betty Collis at Twente University, and involved full funding for three PhD studies and about 20 Masters’ final research projects. I held one of these PhD fellowships, simultaneously working as a Research Analyst within Shell LLD. I moved to the UK in 2005, and after a short stint at Dundee University where I worked as a Research Fellow, I moved to Glasgow Caledonian in 2006. There in 2007 our group led by Prof. Allison Littlejohn was invited, alongside 2 other groups from two other European Universities, to bid for funding for a 2 year action research partnership with Shell Learning, which is serving not just the Exploration and Production part of the business but the whole of Shell. Our group was successful in securing the funding. So my talk today is based on some approaches and findings generated throughout these two partnerships. Both partnerships were guided by an action research philosophy and therefore our outputs had a dual goal of contributing to both the theory and practice. It was very important for us to make sure that the research outputs have a direct impact on practice in the organisation.
  • We started off by considering the global challenges that Shell and perhaps also many other companies in the energy industry are faced with. Unless you have spent the past decade hiding under a rock, this list will look familiar to you. Increasingly the problems professional have to deal with are not only complex but they are also highly novel, often there are no known solutions and knowledge base to build on. In oil industry in particular it is now broadly recognised that the age of easy oil is over. As new types of oil are being explored, in new and more complex environments, professionals often have no course they can attend or a book they can read to learn about how to solve a particular problem. The ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil leak is an example of this. Finding solutions to novel problems increasingly requires interdisciplinary approaches. Therefore professionals need to develop a solid understanding of different disciplines rather than focusing only on their own subject in isolation. The technology as well is evolving very fast, requiring the professionals to understand the general principles of how a range of different technologies function rather than specifics of only a few types Knowledge-based industries like Shell , in order to be successful, must be able to rapidly create new knowledge, contribute it to the knowledge pool of the organi s ation, and locate and connect relevant knowledge. For Shell this has been exacerbated by an estimated major crew change that is going to happen as the baby boomer generation retires. Retention and flow of knowledge within the organisation is a key issue. ‘ New crew’ must be capable of getting up to speed quickly . The y are expected to be able to discover and integrate knowledge from many different sources as they gain competencies. They must be able to draw on the knowledge of experts and peers , using relevant technologies . Shell estimated that the time to competence, that is the time it takes to bring a new graduate recruit sufficiently up to speed so that they can begin to contribute and perform fully, takes 5 to 6 years... Professionals at Shell and other organisation often work in project-based structures, and they have to be able to collaborate effectively across not only disciplinary divides but also geographic, temporal and cultural boundaries. In multinational corporations, especially in oil and gas industry the cultural, ethnic and organisational diversity is immense, so it becomes very important not only to be able to work effectively together but also to learn together, taking into consideration the different needs, values and worldviews.
  • What do these challenges mean for learning? Organisations’ expectations from learning are focused on impact on business results. However, organisations often do not see a direct relationship between the business needs and their investments in formal learning because much traditional formal learning is limited in its transfer to the daily workplace. The workplace demands are in sharp contrast with the traditional ways of learning and teaching. The assumption that these highly complex skills can be learned in traditional formal learning settings is no longer tenable. It is equally untenable that these skills and knowledge can be picked up from experienced peers or coaches in informal learning settings alone.
  • These challenges can be addressed through a blend of strategies and approaches. I propose that an effective course becomes as blend of formal and informal learning, a guided opportunity to learn from and share experiences gained through work-based activities, and to contribute one's own experiences as learning resource for others. The key mechanism to achieve the integration of formal and informal learning are work-based activities. Web technology is a key enabler of the integration. However technology is a toolset to empower learners to create and share knowledge, access relevant resources and networks, and to connect with others to support their learning and development. Technology is not for content delivery nor is it there to take the humans out of the learning process.
  • Before I go on to elaborate on these propositions, I would like to outline my definitions of some of these terms. There is a long standing debate in the literature about the definitions of formal, informal or non-formal learning, so this is a highly contested field, or perhaps a minefield I am stepping into. I broadly define formal learning as learning structured into a course or a workshop or other form of learning event, conducted in classroom or at a distance, supported by an instructor or self-paced. By informal learning, I mean learning that takes place in the context of work, through engagement in work itself and through interacting with others in the workplace. By work-based activities I mean learning activities that are anchored in real-world workplace problems. The knowledge and skills that learners acquire through work-based activities are developed in the situations and contexts in which they are applied. In contrast to “textbook” problems and case studies that only resemble the real-world problems, work-based activities are focused on problems that are complex, ill-defined and need to be solved in social settings, involving complex interdependencies with others – peers, team members, experts and so on. Content is a resource for the work-based activities rather than an initial driver for the activities.
  • Expanding upon these definitions, Betty Collis noted four typical modes of learning in organisations. The 1st Category involves informal learning that occurs with the support of knowledge management systems and corporate portals and databases. Classroom courses typically belong to Category 2.. E-learning may fall in either of these categories depending on if its use is formally structured or informally available. Category 3 involves the sharing of tacit knowledge, generally accessed by making personal contacts or by spontaneous coaching or mentoring. Category 4 relates to occasional structured events such as seminars or project meetings, where learning may be intentional and thus formal such as in a seminar or informally acquired such as during a project meeting.
  • Formal and informal learning each have strengths and limitations, some of which I’ve summarised here. Among the strengths of formal learning are guided opportunities to learn while interacting with peers, broadening the learner’s contacts beyond the immediate workplace. However such interactions may be forced or superficial and often do not last after the course is finished.
  • Among the strengths of informal learning are the anchoring of learning in real-life problems and situations that are relevant and meaningful to the learner. The anchoring of learning in practice and authentic experiences alone however may also lead to uneven conceptual development rather than stimulating the learner to develop a rich understanding of the phenomena and relations between the phenomena underpinning the daily work practices. And daily workplace tasks may be repetitive and not at all conducive to learning, for example when inappropriate or limited knowledge is conveyed or work practices are replicated that encourage exclusiveness and intolerance. I won’t go into the details, but the main point I want to make here is that formal and informal learning should be integrated in such as a way that the potential strengths are maximised and limitations are minimised.
  • While in both the learning literature as well as the corporate sector there is now a recognition of the value of informal learning, the traditional view still is that the acquisition of certain types of knowledge , in particular c onceptual knowledge , can only occur in formal , academic learning settings , supported by a thoroughly structured and quality controlled curriculum. In our own recent study of learning and knowledge sharing practices at Shell, one of the questions we asked was “What people learn through work?” The participants of the study were Shell staff across a range of disciplines including production chemistry, geology, contracting and procurement and some others. We asked them t o think about their most significant learning experience in the past year - a project or a task from which they felt they had learned the most - and to articulate what they learned. The analysis of the responses generated this typology that cover s a wide range of types of knowledge and skills that are learned through work . These range from conceptual and procedural knowledge to locative knowledge and development of personal dispositions. Similar findings have been reported in other studies of professional learning in the workplace, for example in Michael Eraut’s recent ESRC study on early career learning of nurses, engineers and accountants. These finds lead us to question the inferior position that informal workplace learning has occupied in relation to formal learning.
  • Another question we investigated was How these knowledge, skills and dispositions are developed ? Again, we asked the participants to think about their most significant learning experience, but this time we asked them to elaborate on how they learned and what learning methods they preferred. 7 modes of learning emerged from the data , ranging from predominantely working processes during which learning occurs , for example learning by doing or vicarious learning to processes where learning is the main purpose , for example coaching and mentoring or self-study.
  • In the workplace, people are an important resource for knowledge and learning support. We use the term 'significant others‘ to refer to other s in the workplace who are instrumental to an individual's learning. Our study showed that often colleagues are the first port of call when people seek support in learning or carrying out a work task.   Reaching out to others and asking questions is a key strategy and workplaces vary in terms of how their culture encourages or impedes it. Expanding on the question about the most significant learning experience, we asked the participants to think about other people within or outside the company who were important to their learning and development. 7 categories of “significant others” have emerged from the data. With peers and the line manager being clearly very important. The fundamentally social basis of learning seems almost commonsense, yet it is often ignored in formal learning. So where does this lead us? I suppose what I have been trying to do here is show evidence to support my proposition that workplace is a powerful learning environment in its own right, rather than merely a site of experience and performance and a site of application, extension and augmentation of learning. As researchers and practitioners of learning we must work towards developing a better understanding of the conditions and qualities of workplace settings that enable deep learning . The ways in which people learn through work, how they learn and who they learn with don’t tend to be taken into consideration in traditional formal learning, which more often than not tends to be a very insular learning experience.
  • To support integration of formal and informal learning, we developed an approach we call work-based blended learning. This model was implemented and tested at Shell, where more than half of their portfolio of about 200 traditional classroom based courses have been redesigned to reflect this approach. Blended learning of course is not a new approach, but it tends to be conceptualised in a limited way, as a combination of a classroom mode with some form of distance or elearning. The parallels are also found in work-based learning models that are familiar in universities, where a typical structure is the sandwich model, whereby participants are usually working professionals who come together every so often in classroom sessions while the rest of the time studying at their own pace while remaining in the workplace. However, because learning, via a book or a computer takes place while the participant generally remains in her workplace does not necessarily mean it is work-based learning. The learning may be as remote from work as the classroom course in a physically distant training centre or a university. We conceptualise blended learning in a multidimensional way. Blended courses structured around work-based activities may or may not include a classroom component, but will include different types of blends which I have summarised here. They will include different types of learning activities, with a focus on work-based problems different types of resources, with a focus on knowledge re-used from the workplace different times and places in which learning activities occur, with a focus on activities carried out in the workplace They will incorporate different ways that people work and network together, with a focus on collaborative work-based activities They will involve guidance by a dedicated facilitator as well as a workplace supervisor or coach, with a focus on "teachable moments" or “aha moments” in the course structure and individualised feedback rather than content transfer. They will include regular, formative and summative assessment, with the focus on workplace relevance and authentic ways in which workplace performance is assessed Finally, a web-based environment will be used to support all aspects of learning. Because our approach involves both structured course support and also learning in a more informal way a range of tools can be used. I have deliberately decided not discuss technology in detail in this talk – firstly because it is a broad topic that could easily fill a separate talk and secondly because I deliberately wanted to keep the focus on the learning approach itself, and the principles underpinning it. In general, whatever platform is adopted, technology is a workbench enabling the learner to connect to others, to find and share resources, and to support collaboration and collective creation of knowledge. The technology platform should support making reflections and reports on work-based activities available to others, helping to make the cognitive processes explicit to the learner himself and to other learners and the instructor. Selected learner submissions can be re-used as valuable content for other learners and in future cohorts. Classroom sessions may still take place, but with a focus on drawing together and sharing learning from work-based activities rather than ‘covering’ content. Because in this approach the work-based activities are carried out within a course structure, learners are able to capitalise on the benefits of both formal and informal learning. With respect to some of the organisational challenges that I discussed earlier, work-based activities provide a way for courses to move quickly with new developments in the workplace, and if properly steered, can stimulate the sharing of experiences between novices and experts, regardless of their physical locations.
  • Here are some suggestions for various ways in which these 7 components can be operationalised, for example different types of activities or resources that can be used.
  • Blends of places where people could learn and different ways that people could interact and collaborate in carrying out work-based activities.
  • Different roles for the course facilitator or instructor and different forms of authentic assessment
  • I would like to show some examples from Shell courses. This one is from a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) course. HRA is a complex and critical process at Shell. Health risks associated with potentially dangerous tasks such as drilling or handling chemicals must be regularly monitored and prevented, and health risks associated with Shell processes for the local environments must be managed at all times with great care to prevent environmental disasters. Hazards can be chemical, physical, biological, or ergonomic, with both acute and chronic effects. Staff with job responsibilities involving health-risk assessment must be trained to identify the risks and to take preventative action or report the risks. Hundreds of Shell staff worldwide must be trained each year to take responsibility for the HRA process in their workplace. Individuals carrying out HRA never work in isolation, but must lead a team including drilling foremen and superintendents, technicians, company physicians and physiotherapists, team leaders, plant managers, security advisors, and general-asset managers.   The HRA course used to take place in a one-week classroom setting. However, a range of issues were involved in running the course in a classroom format. For example, often the HRA staff were not able to travel to attend the classroom sessions in the Learning Centre in the Netherlands, or instructors were not able to travel to individual regional sites. The sheer number of staff that had to be trained also posed a challenge in terms of the scalability and responsiveness of the classroom format. More importantly, the classroom sessions did not provide the opportunity to actually carry out a health-risk assessment as it occurs in the workplace and get guidance and feedback from an expert and from the peers during the process. Therefore a decision was made to re-design the course so that the activities could be carried out in the participants’ workplaces. A classroom portion of the course was not seen to be necessary, so the activities were designed in such a way as to enable the participants to have ongoing interaction with each other and the instructor via the course environment.   The main activity of the HRA course was to produce a complete and properly done assessment of a potential health risk in learner’s own workplace. Collaborative learning, whereby the participants worked with others in their workplace and helped each other reflect upon and move through the different subtasks of the overall activity was an important component of the course. In terms of the content, PowerPoint presentations, handouts and other materials that had been used in the classroom version of the course were made available via the web environment. In addition, a number of so called e-learning modules combining text, audio and video segments, and quizzes were designed and used as self-study resources. TeleTOP which is a commercial VLE that Shell used at the time (currently they have moved to Moodle) was used as the common environment for submitting reports on the outcomes of the work-based activities, for sharing resources and reflections, and for discussing and comparing experiences.
  • Here is another example, from a course on Applied Production Technology. This is a collaborative problem-solving activity called Peer Assist. The structure of this course involves a face–to-face workshop with an extended pre–workshop session carried out online, using the course environment. The learners are required to identify a relevant problem in their workplace, which must be within the scope of their job role to solve. They are then required to submit a description of the problem three weeks before the workshop to the course environment so that everyone can see all the submitted problems, and the course instructor can provide feedback to help the participants refine the problem statement before they can bring it to the workshop. At the workshop, learners, who are all Production Technologists from various Shell operating units worldwide, form small groups to tackle the submitted problems. The solutions are then presented to the course participants, but more importantly at the end of the course they are formulated into a business case proposal that is then taken by each owner of the problem and presented to his or her manager and other relevant people in the workplace.
  • Skip this slide – refer back to if questions
  • Skip this slide – refer back to if questions
  • One of the key outputs of our work at Shell was the development of 11 principles of work-based learning that underpin our approach. A principle is a relationship that is always true under appropriate conditions regardless of programme or practice. These principles are based on extensive literature review and the synthesis of the key postulates of contemporary learning theories. You can find more details in the book that is referenced here.
  • These principles integrated within a reference model can be used to guide design of work-based blended learning courses. Whereas different organisations may have different priorities and needs related to learning and may want to include additional elements suitable for their particular context, these eleven elements could be a valuable generic foundation. The model was applied and evaluated within Shell and these various studies are described in more detail in the book, the full reference of which is included at the end of this slide set. In the past couple of years we have been implementing an adapted set of these principles at Glasgow Caledonian University as part of our RealWorld initiative, which is a 5 year employability initiative that has been funded by the Scottish Funding Council as part of the first Learning to Work programme. You may be aware of this strand of activities, as the SFC funding was received by most or all Scottish universities. My colleague Sabine McKinnon is leading our RealWorld initiative. We are currently piloting an adapted set of these principles across a range of Glasgow Caledonian schools, including our Business School and the School of Law and Social Sciences. In the references list at the end of these slide set I have included a link to a document that outlines the adapted set of principles and some examples of good practice from some of the Glasgow Caledonian courses.
  • And finally I would like to say a few words about some of the issues that we encountered when implementing this approach at Shell. One of the key problems has been the expectations regarding what constitutes learning. Learning is still often seen, and accredited, around time spent in courses. The concept of learning as going away to a course is strongly embedded not only in the expectations of many in the organisation but also in the procedures used to describe and fund learning. Informal learning is not yet part of the recognition system in terms of promotions and career ladders although at Shell it is being accepted as part of the learning strategy. Despite a statement in corporate strategy, support and recognition is not yet consistently in place. We have been arguing for a need to c onsider accreditation opportunities on the basis of what is learned through work and demonstrated competence rather than only on the completion of formal courses . The strength of this approach is that it is grounded in real workplace tasks. But this also contributes to the problem of how to build in the time needed for learning above simply doing the daily job. The result is often that the learner has to fit learning activities into her own time. While many participants are motivated enough by the benefits of work-based learning, others will just not have the time to do more than their regular jobs. So the close boundary between learning and work is not only the strength but also the vulnerability of this approach. Supervisor involvement and support is essential for the recognition and embedding of this form of learning. In practice, this is difficult to achieve. Many supervisors still see learning as going away to courses and do not see that they have any further involvement beyond signing off their staff members application for attending a course. Many different strategies have been attempted at Shell, such as learning agreements, but we have been consistently finding that without building support for learning into manager’s job descriptions, the effort to effectively involve them seems an uphill battle.

Work-based Blended Learning Work-based Blended Learning Presentation Transcript

  • Work-based Blended Learning
    • Anoush Margaryan
    • Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University
    • http://www.slideshare.net/anoush
    • These slides are shared under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Licence
  • Background
    • Research partnership with Shell EP Learning and Leadership Development LLD (2002-2005). Key collaborators: Prof. Betty Collis, Dr. Manuela Bianco, Dr Allard Strijker (University of Twente, NL)
    • Research partnership with Shell Learning (2007-2009). Collaborators: Prof. Allison Littlejohn, Dr. Collin Milligan (Glasgow Caledonian University)
    • Contributing to theory and practice : both partnerships resulted in a range of journal publications, reports, recommendations plus new models/approaches to learning (design process, evaluation system, learning support tools) implemented and embedded at Shell.
  • Challenges
    • Competences in defining and solving novel problems , for which no knowledge base exists
    • Interdisciplinarity
    • Understanding technology with focus on general principles rather than specifics
    • ‘ Crew change’: capturing, sharing, reusing and transferring knowledge dynamically
    • Increased ‘time to competence’ : need to bring new staff up to speed quickly
    • Project-based work: collaboration and teamwork , criss-crossing geographic, disciplinary and cultural boundaries
    • Increased diversity: accommodating individual learners’ needs and preferences
  • Implications for learning
    • Anchoring of learning in business needs and workplace tasks
    • Learning outcomes focused on improved job performance and increased competence
    • Strategic problem-solving , critical thinking, learning quickly in response to rapidly changing environment and technology
    • Learning to learn
    • Skills in working in distributed and culturally diverse teams
    • Building knowledge from different sources and perspectives and applying it in a flexible way
    • An effective course is a blend of formal and informal learning.
    • An effective course is a guided opportunity to learn from and share experiences gained through work-based activities and to contribute one's own experiences as resource for others.
    • Work-based activities link formal and informal learning.
    • Technology is a toolset to empower learner to create, contribute and connect knowledge. Technology is not a content delivery mechanism nor is it a substitute for humans.
    Theses
    • Formal learning : learning structured into a course or other form of learning event, conducted in classroom or at distance, supported by an instructor or self-paced.
    • Informal learning : learning that takes place in the context of work, through doing the work and interacting with others in the workplace.
    • Work-based activities: Learning activities anchored in real-world work practice and focused on developing the learners’ ability to solve the problems of their everyday professional roles
    Definitions
  • Formal and informal learning Collis (2001) Knowledge management systems, repositories, knowledge sharing networks Classroom courses, e-learning Discussions with peers, informal coaching Seminars, project meetings
  • Formal learning: Strengths & limitations
    • Strengths
    • Content is pre-selected, quality controlled, and pre-structured.
    • A dedicated instructor supports, motivates, guides, manages, and monitors the learning process.
    • The learning process is well defined; learning takes place in a dedicated space where distractions from ordinary work can be put aside. A tempo and discipline for learning is maintained and can be planned for in advance.
    • Learning involves social interaction with fellow learners.
    • Limitations
    • Content may become out of date or may not be relevant to particular work situations.
    • There is a gap between learning and application
    • Instructors vary in their capabilities
    • The times, places, and pace chosen for learning may not fit the needs of individual learners.
    • Social interaction with fellow learners may be forced or superficial and not last after the course is completed.
    Synthesised from Billett (2001) and Collis (2001)
  • Informal learning: Strengths & limitations
    • Strengths
    • Learning involves personally authentic experiences and is integrated within real workplace tasks.
    • Learning involves direct guidance by workplace peers and experts through modelling, performance monitoring, and collaboration.
    • Learning involves observation, listening and access to locally relevant tools and procedures.
    • Learning is focused on practice.
    • Limitations
    • Learning through work may lead to uneven conceptual development (“all procedures, no theory”) and disconnected rather than richly associated understanding.
    • Workplace tasks may be repetitive or non-conducive to new learning.
    • The learner may learn inappropriate or limited knowledge such as shortcuts that represent unsafe working practices or work practices that encourage exclusiveness and intolerance.
    • There may be lack of available experts to provide guidance or experts may be reluctant to provide guidance
    Synthesis from Billett (2001) and Collis (2001)
  • What people learn through work? Littlejohn, Margaryan, Milligan (2010) Know-what (Conceptual knowledge) Acquiring core technical knowledge Learning about other disciplines Understanding internal / external conte xt Know-How (Procedural knowledge) Lab skills Using company-specific technology Delegation skills People management skills Time management and prioritising Project management Collaboration skills Virtual team working Know-where ( Lo cative knowled g e) Developing personal networks Knowing who to ask   Personal Development (Dispositions) Learning to become assertive Understanding own strengths and weaknesses Developing confidence Learning to manage stress   Enculturation Developing visibility in the company Understanding 'big picture’ Learning to navigate workplace politics Learning the w ays of being in the organisation
  • How people learn in the workplace?
    • Learning by doing – 69%
    • Learning by discussing with others - 31%
    • Coaching and mentoring – 24%
    • Learning by teaching others – 21%
    • Vicarious learning – 21%
    • Learning by trial and error – 17%
    • Self-study (eg reading literature) – 14%
    Littlejohn, Margaryan, Milligan (2010)
  • Who people learn with?: ‘Significant others’
    • Team members – 66%
    • Line Manager – 52%
    • Colleagues elsewhere in organisation – 45%
    • Mentor – 35%
    • Coach - 21%
    • Senior leaders – 7%
    • HR (co mpetence advisors , c onsultant s ) – 7%
    Littlejohn, Margaryan, Milligan (2010)
  • Dimensions of work-based blended learning
    • Different types of learning activities (focus on work-based problems )
    • Different types of learning resources (focus on re-use of experience from within the company)
    • Different places and times for learning activities (focus on activities carried out in the workplace )
    • Different ways that people interact with each other (focus on collaboration during work-based activities)
    • Guided by a capable facilitator (focus on ‘teachable moments’ within the course as well as individualised coaching )
    • Involving regular assessment (focus on workplace relevance)
    • Integrated via a Web-based learning support environment
  • Examples of components (1)
    • Different types of learning activities
    • Find out about, Describe, Compare and contrast, Apply, Evaluate, Reflect, Create
    • Make use of authentic data and resources, workplace relevant
    • Share and re-use previous contributions
    • Using a Web-based system to support, manage, and integrate all aspects of activities
    • Different types of learning resources
    • Real datasets and authentic workplace documents
    • External/internal blogs, wikis
    • RSS, aggregators
    • Real-time knowledge (eg from micro blogging)
    • In house knowledge sharing networks and repositories
    • Books, manuals, reports
    • Instructor-created resources
    • Participant-created resources
    • Professionally made resources
    • Relevant networks
  • Examples of components (2)
    • Different places and times for learning activities
    • Some, in the workplace
    • Some, at home or another “study place”
    • Some, in face-to-face contacts
    • Some, via the computer
    • With some degree of flexibility in time and location and pace
    • Different ways that people interact with each other
    • One to one
    • One to many
    • Collaboratively, within a group or a community of practice
    • Within a network (including personal networks)
    • Collegially, peer-to-peer
    • Formal and informal
    • Structured and non-structured
    • With a clear procedure and a clear acknowledgement of who initiates what
  • Examples of components (3)
    • Capable facilitator
    • Technology does not replace the instructor, but rather extends access to him/her
    • Extended access means new demands and burdens and requires new forms of support
    • Focus on processes during the learning rather than assembling content beforehand
    • Assessment
    • A blend of evaluation approaches - peer, portfolio, formative – but always anchored in workplace activities
    • Feedback is a critical part of learning and a key part of the assessment process
    • Standards and expectations need to be clear and based on workplace validation
  • Examples from Shell: Work-based activity
  • Examples from Shell: Peer Assist
  • Addressing strengths and limitations of formal and informal learning (1)
    • Strengths of informal learning
    • Authenticity of learning, no separation of learning and doing
    • Direct guidance by peers and experts – modelling, performance monitoring, collaborative learning
    • Indirect guidance – observation, listening, access to tools and procedures; self-monitoring and self-directedness
    • Learning focused in practice
    • Work-based blended learning
    • Emphasis on workplace problems
    • Dedicated instructor; supervisor, coach and other experts support work-based activities; sharing knowledge with peers in the course and in the workplace
    • Work-based activities build in flexibility and possibilities for observation, self-monitoring and reflection
    • Focus on workplace problems but with necessary conceptual grounding
  • Addressing strengths and limitations of formal and informal learning (2)
    • Limitations of informal learning
    • Learning inappropriate knowledge
    • Limited access to appropriate workplace tasks (eg projects)
    • Reluctance of experts to provide guidance
    • Reluctance to participate (don’t want to labelled a “student”)
    • Work-based blended learning
    • Expert facilitator to guide learning
    • Formalised nature of work-based activities, line manager support and involvement in work-based activities
    • Strategies and tools for line manager involvement; expert guidance from course instructor and peers
    • Work-based activities anchored in workplace problems; participation closely connected with personal development planning; flexible activities address individual preferences
  • Work-based blended learning is effective when:
    • Learners are engaged in solving real-world problems
    • Prior knowledge and experience are activated as a foundation for new knowledge
    • New knowledge is demonstrated and new behaviour is modelled to learners by ‘significant others’ (instructor, supervisor, coach, peers)
    • Learners are guided and scaffolded as they apply new knowledge in the workplace
    • New knowledge is integrated into learner’s world
    • Learners solve problems collaboratively, with other learners and workplace peers
    • Learners are stimulated to share knowledge and learn from others both in the course and in the workplace
    • Individual learning needs and preferences are accommodated through flexibility in learning activities and tailored feedback
    • ‘ Significant others’ in the workplace are involved in supporting the learner
    • Knowledge is reused from outcomes of work-based activities contributed by learners, from learner’s workplace, and from elsewhere in organisation
    • Technology is used as a workbench – to empower learners to create, consume, contribute and connect knowledge and with others
    Margaryan (2008)
  • Reference Model of Work-Based Blended Learning Margaryan (2008)
    • What constitutes learning?
    • Recognition of workplace learning
    • Supervisor involvement
    Challenges in implementing work-based blended learning
  • References
    • Margaryan, A. (2008). Work-based learning: A blend of pedagogy and technology. Saarbruecken: VDM Verlag. ISBN 978-3836438094
    • Collis, B., & Moonen, J. (2005) . An on-going journey: Technology as a learning workbench. University of Twente, The Netherlands. Available from http://bettycollisjefmoonen.nl/Book-Learning-Workbench-V2.pdf
    • Littlejohn, A., Margaryan, A., & Milligan, C. (2010). Collective learning, connected knowledge: Towards new approaches to learning for work. Final project report. Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University.
    • Collis, B. (2001, June). Linking organizational knowledge and learning . Invited presentation at ED-MEDIA 2001 Conference, Montreal, Canada.
    • Billet, S. (2001). Learning in the workplace: Strategies for effective practice . Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
    • McKinnon, S., & Margaryan, A. (2009). Principles of work-related learning. Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University. Available online at http://www.academy.gcal.ac.uk/realworld/documents/Principlesofwrl180909.pdf