GoogleTranslate Service


Designing workplaces to support learning

April 28th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

I have written at length on this blog about the growing tension between the schooling system and the changing ways in which we are using the internet for self managed, networked learning, often through informal learning in the work force. The implications of this these changes are slowly working their way into the system.

The US Information Week government website draws attention to an interesting report. The report, ‘Net Generation: Preparing for Change in the Federal Information Technology Workforce,’  “surveyed federal IT workforce trends and found that young IT workers are among the most demanding employees yet, but that the federal government, in many places, has been falling short in its ability to entice these young workers to join and remain in the federal workforce.”

There are three particularly interesting findings from the report.

Firstly, instead of choosing a career and working their way upwards within a company or organisation, individuals are tending to see particular posts as learning situations, moving on when they have acquired new skills and competences. ““‘Net-Geners’ are not patiently working their way through the organizational hierarchy, but are instead sampling professional opportunities and moving on quickly when they see no clear-cut advantages, personally, professionally, or financially, to staying,” the report said. “As a result, many organizations are experiencing the loss of younger workers before they can recover their recruitment investment.”

Secondly the report suggested changes in workplace design and practice to make the workplace more attractive to younger workers. This includes IT leaderships working “actively and openly” with teams to facilitate a trusting and empowered working environment. The report urged regular assessments, as it found that young workers are constantly looking for feedback.

The report also recognised the importance of social networking for working and learning.“The Net Generation understands intuitively the power of Web 2.0,” the report said. “The deprivation of connectivity to the Internet has a visceral impact on the Net Generation.” That means agencies must strive to adopt the latest social media technologies to help accommodate the working styles of young IT workers, and that agencies need to look more strongly to the possibility of telework.

A finding from research we have undertaken in Pontydysgu is that the more responsibility people have for their work, the more likely they are to use technology for informal learning. The research also suggest that tecahing others is a powerful form of learning. the report appears recognise such findings.

The report pushed managers to give young workers early responsibility. “Younger, more technically savvy workers who demonstrate the ability to interject greater efficiency through technological solutions can provide training on these capabilities,” the report said.

The report is interesting. We have consistently pointed to the need to design workplaces to provide opportunities for learning. Sadly, all too often this is not happening. There are numerous frustrations particularly in regard to limited internet access. The report is into Federal IT employees, an area where there is likely to be a skills shortage in the future. But, longer term, it may be that such sectors can provide examples of innovative practice for future work space design.

Comments are closed.

  • Search Pontydysgu.org

    News Bites

    Digital Literacy

    A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

    A new Welsh Government programme has been launched which will work with organisations across Wales, in order to help people increase their confidence using digital technology, with the aim of helping them improve and manage their health and well-being.

    Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being, follows on from the initial Digital Communities Wales (DCW) programme which enabled 62,500 people to reap the benefits of going online in the last two years.

    See here for more information


    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.


    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time


    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”


    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      pbwiki
      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

  • Twitter

  • RT @mrmwardphd Me and @ingram_nicola are seeking two new convenors to help run the BSA soc of ed study group! Deadline for expressions of interest is 31st July 2019. All career stages welcome, but you must be a BSA member. More info here es.britsoc.co.uk/sociology-of… @britsoci

    About 3 days ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via Twitter Web Client

  • Sounds of the Bazaar AudioBoo

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Upcoming Events

      There are no events.
  • Categories