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Learning Layers at ECER’14 – Part 4: Reflections on the feedback

September 9th, 2014 by Pekka Kamarainen

In my three previous posts I have reported on the three sessions via which the Learning Layers (LL) project contributed to the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER’14) in Porto, Portugal. With this one I try to pick up some key points from the feedback we got from our colleagues.

Firstly, the presentation on the Legacy of the Work Process Knowledge network was well received – given that the network itself had been strongly present in ECER conferences between 1998 and 2006. But, what was more striking to me was the fact that the most recent changes in technologies – e.g. “Internet of things” – trigger a new interest on human interaction in organisational contexts. Thus, our researchers in vocational education and training (VET) want to find out, whether ‘organisational learning’ is merely a result of management strategies and consultants’ interventions. Or – like the WPK network argued – often unintended consequence of designed actviities, supported by shared knowledge processes.

Secondly, our symposium “Construction 2.0” appeared to be a heavy load of information. Yet – no one complained that we had all these inputs (accompanying research methodologies, the encounters between work process knowledge and mobile learning and framework for scaling up innovations). We tried to focus on the work in construction sector. As a consequence, we failed to give a sufficient picture of the other parts of the project. We tried to emphasise the relevance of our activities for work organisations. As a consequence, we got questions, why we don’t focus more directly on (vocational) learning. Yet, by the end of the symposium we had probably covered most of the questions on understanding. And furthermore – we had brought the reality of complex R&D projects into discussion.

Thirdly, with the research workshop on “Interactive research” we had clearly found a good format to bring into comparison and dialogue different innovation projects. By using a common background framework and a common format for posters we had a focused discussion on four parallel cases in similar innovation programmes. Here we can speculate whether it would have been better to have the symposium first and the workshop afterwards. Or – was the successful and dialogue-oriented workshop a good starter for digesting the heavier symposium.

Altogether, we saw that we could share knowledge on the complex and dynamic LL project already at this stage. And, moreover, we got interested counterparts who want to deepen this practice into joint knowledge development. We are looking forward to the next steps.

More blogs to come …

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