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APOSDLE - work, learn, collaborate

The APOSDLE Approach to Self-directed Work-integrated Learning

This deliverable gives a comprehensive overview of the APOSDLE approach to Self-directed Work-integrated learning. In several deliverables written over the first two years of the project this topic was addressed in a distributed manner. Since this made it difficult for people not part of the project to understand our approach and background we made the effort to provide here a fully integrated perspective on work-integrated learning and how it can be supported. Specifically, this deliverable is the result of the tight integration of two previously separate deliverables: D2.8 “Review of general applicability of learning support over domains” (lead UT, now mainly comprising Chapter 5) and D3.5 “Contextualized Cooperation Concept Version 2” (lead FHG, now mainly comprising Chapter 6). The other chapters describe our common understanding on knowledge work, work-integrated learning, and the overall approach to support them (lead KC). It starts with outlining how the project conceptualizes „knowledge work?. Following the argumentation of Kelloway & Barling we see knowledge work primarily as an individual, discretionary activity. Thus, knowledge work is characterized as being a dimension of work, not an all or nothing property. To study it, one should focus on the use of knowledge in the workplace and not on properties of individuals or jobs. Next the notion of workplace learning is taken up, more precisely defined as work-integrated learning. It is seen as being truly integrated in current work processes and practices, making use of existing resources with the main goal of improving work performance. In terms of Eraut & Hirsh: learning activities located within work or learning practices. Work-integrated learning is mostly self-directed, meaning that the learner is empowered to take responsibility for their own learning activities, to choose means that allow them to carry out various learning activities and to choose access to various learning resources. In this sense the learner is her own instructor. During this self-directed learning, several learning functions must be carried out by the learner: preparatory functions, executive functions and closing functions. In addition, during work co-workers and other knowledgeable persons are very important sources for learning.