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# Supporting Competency Development in Informal Workplace Learning.

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K.D. Althoff et al. (Eds.): WM 2005, LNAI 3782, pp. 189– 202, 2005.
Supporting Competency Development in Informal
Workplace Learning
Tobias Ley1, Stefanie N. Lindstaedt1, and Dietrich Albert2
1 Know-Center, Inffeldgasse 21a,
A-8010 Graz, Austria
{tley, slind}@know-center.at
http://www.know-center.at
2 University of Graz, Cognitive Science Section,
A-8010 Graz, Austria
dietrich.albert@uni-graz.at
http://wundt.uni-graz.at
Abstract. This paper seeks to suggest ways to support informal, self-directed,
work-integrated learning within organizations. We focus on a special type of
learning in organizations, namely on competency development, that is a
purposeful development of employee capabilities to perform well in a large
array of situations. As competency development is inherently a self-directed
development activity, we seek to support these activities primarily in an
informal learning context. AD-HOC environments which allow employees
suggested to support learning in the workplace. In this paper, we suggest to use
the competence performance framework as a means to enhance the capabilities
of AD HOC environments to support competency development. The framework
formalizes the tasks employees are working in and the competencies needed to
performance structure, which structures both tasks and competencies in terms of
learning prerequisites. We conclude with two scenarios that make use of
methods established in informal learning research. The scenarios show how
competence performance structures enhance feedback mechanisms in a
coaching process between supervisor and employee and provide assistance for
self directed learning from a knowledge repository.
1 The Importance of Work-Integrated Learning
In order to operate economically in business education the ratio between outcome and
investment needs to be maximized. Investment in business education consists of
financial contributions for courseware, learning management systems, training hours,
and costs for employees being away from their workplaces. Outcome in business
education should be learning results that can directly be transferred to employees’
workplaces and which have a high reinforcing impact on job performance. However,
studies reveal that only a small amount of knowledge that is actually applied to job
activities comes from formal training:
Ley, T., Lindstaedt, S. N., & Albert, D. (2005). Supporting Competency
Development in Informal Workplace Learning. In K. Althoff, A. Dengel, R.
Bergmann, M. Nick & T. Roth-Berghofer (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Artificial
Intelligence - Professional Knowledge Management: Third Biennial Conference,
WM 2005, Kaiserslautern, Germany, April 10-13, 2005, Revised Selected Papers
(Vol. 3782 / 2005, pp. 189-202). Springer-Verlag GmbH.
190 T. Ley, S.N. Lindstaedt, and D. Albert
1. Formal training is the source of only 10 – 20% of what we learn at work, although
2. Only 20% to 30% of what is being learned in formal training is actually transferred
to the workplace in a way that enhances performance [2].
3. 80 – 90% of what employees know of their job, they know from informal learning
[3].
At the same time companies invest large amounts of money in formal training
initiatives. Haskell in [4] informs us that in 1998 70 billion were spent on formal training. He argues that half of this has been misspent due to the fact that what people are taught in formal training is not sufficiently transferred to and applied to the job. In spite of these findings, in current business practice and eLearning research projects most spending is applied to enhancing knowledge transfer of formal training interventions. These initiatives try to answer the question: “How much does the learner know after engaging in the formal training?” Instead, as suggested by the above numbers, the question which should be asked is: “To which extend can the learner apply the newly acquired competencies to improve her work performance?” This is why in our work we focus on learning transfer.This is the effective and continuing application of knowledge and competencies to new (and often unexpected) contexts. Let’s now take a look at organizations in which both the content being created within the usual work processes and the changing requirements of the tasks employees are working in create a dynamic environment. Such organizations have been referred to as knowledge intensive; examples are R&D companies, consultancies, etc. In knowledge intensive organizations weakly structured work processes are predominant, leaving enough space for flexibility and creativity. In such environments, it is neither possible nor feasible to predetermine all possible "learning paths" employees may be pursuing. In order to ensure a high degree of learning transfer in such knowledge intensive organizations the focus of business education has to be shifted. The trend goes away from enforcing predetermined, general learning paths (as attempted by formal training) towards supporting individual, work task related learning paths (the goal of informal learning). We refer to this type of informal, work-integrated learning as AD-HOC learning [5], since it happens ad hoc during work. In addition, the separation of working, learning, and teaching becomes blurred in knowledge intensive organizations. Increasingly interdisciplinary teams work together to perform a task. They all have to learn from each other (and thus also teach each other) to be able to solve the given problems. Most of the time, mutual learning and teaching happen unconsciously during work. Often “simple” work documents (such as reports, project plans, etc.) serve as learning/teaching content. This content already exists in knowledge intensive organizations (e.g. in the organizational memory) and is generated continuously during work. But unfortunately it is mostly not linked to the work processes where it is needed by other people to learn and within the content generation activities didactical aspects are not taken into account. In order to support informal learning related to individual work tasks a large amount, and especially a large variety of learning content is needed. Obviously this content can not be created solely for learning purposes. Instead, an environment supporting learning and Supporting Competency Development in Informal Workplace Learning 191 working can tap into an organizational memory and reuse available content for learning. Metadata associated with the content plays a central role in this pursuit. Based on the argumentation given above we argue that what is needed is an environment which supports AD-HOC learning: the acquisition of new competencies in the context of the current work task, thus enabling the user to perform the task better, faster, or more reliably. Such an environment will support working as well as learning and will take into account the following aspects: 1. Provide available content for learning purposes: The environment should support a “learner” or a “teacher” in finding any existing content from an organizational memory which could be used for learning or teaching purposes. 2. Support learning interactions: The environment should provide support for interactions that take place for learning purposes. Examples are: a coaching interaction between employee and supervisor, a lessons learned meeting at the end of a project, or an interaction between an expert and novices in a certain topic. In Chapter 2 we introduce the AD-HOC concepts which are the basis for creating environments to support specific work tasks according to the requirements given above. Chapter 3 serves to make the relation between effective competency development and workplace learning explicit. Chapter 4 illustrates the notion of competencies as a conceptual layer. This conceptual layer formalizes the tasks employees perform and the competencies needed to do so. Relating tasks and competencies results in a competence performance structure, which structures both tasks and competencies in terms of learning prerequisites. Chapter 5 then illustrates – using two scenarios – how competency performance structures can be applied within AD-HOC environments to support the competency development of the users. 2 AD-HOC Concepts and Environments In order to create environments which support AD-HOC learning we have developed the AD-HOC methodology [6]. In this paper we will shortly introduce the main AD- HOC concepts and then (as one example) present an AD-HOC environment for project management. 2.1 AD-HOC Unifying Structure: Enabling Content Reuse for Learning A typical workplace of a knowledge worker and its structure consisting of three separate spaces: a work space, a knowledge space, and a learning space. Work space represents the user’s desktop PC and shared document storage devices such as a common file structure or document management systems. It contains the work documents which are needed by an employee on a day-to-day basis, such as project related documents. In many knowledge intensive organizations this space is structured according to projects and their work packages. Learning space stands for conscious learning situations, e.g. attending seminars and taking eLearning courses. The learning space is either completely outside any technical system or combined with an eLearning platform. Sometimes information about current seminars is available through the Intranet. The structures of learning 192 T. Ley, S.N. Lindstaedt, and D. Albert spaces mirror the structures of the learning topics as it is seen by course providers. It follows the didactical abstraction of the topic and provides generally no information about the relationship of work tasks to courses. In addition, the available course material is fairly general and has to be adapted to employees’ work contexts. Knowledge space represents unconscious learning, application of past experiences (own and from others) to new situations, spontaneous search for information and use of examples in order to understand how to apply newly found information. The knowledge space of an organization is often distributed over different systems such as the Intranet, a common file server, etc. Here the structure again is different: Organizational knowledge often does not have one clear structure, but mirrors the internal cognitive map of each person providing the knowledge. Often a mix of the organizations’ processes, topics and department structures are found here. Based on the description of these three spaces, two main problems can be identified when linking the spaces together and integrating teaching and learning support and everyday work: Cognitive disconnection between the three spaces: Each of the spaces has an inherent structure which mirrors to some extent the mental model of the people who are using it. Structural separation of the three spaces: Each of the spaces is implemented on different technical systems. And here the contents’ structure is predetermined by the system’s design. The cognitive disconnection between the three spaces cannot be overcome as long as users are confronted with the structural separation all the time during their daily work. Thus, it is the structural separation that has to be changed first. In working towards that goal attention has to be paid not only to the properties of the content in Fig. 1. Using the work process as unifying structuring element to link elements of the three spaces together Supporting Competency Development in Informal Workplace Learning 193 question, but also to the mental models of the users. This will ensure that the three spaces will not be connected in some arbitrary way, but in a way that is actually useful and intuitive for the target group. In order to bridge the cognitive disconnection the AD-HOC method identifies one unifying structuring element for each AD-HOC environment. This unifying element is then used to reference the content from the different spaces. In Figure 1 the work process is used as unifying structural element. This has the advantage that (learning) content can be linked to the work task in which it was created an in which it will likely be used again. Choosing the work processes as unifying structure does not imply automatically that the processes will be used as navigational element. The structural element can be used for navigation (as is described in the case study) however it can also be maintained in the background simply providing implicit structure and using another navigation metaphor (interested readers can refer to the AD-HOC RESCUE environment [7]. 2.2 AD-HOC Spectrum: Supporting Self-directed Learning As motivated above the competence development process largely relies on the learners’ own initiative. Within this work we refer to this process as self-directed learning [1], [8]. Autonomously defining learning goals and learning paths are important activities within self-directed learning. In order to perform these activities learners need to have a certain level of expertise of the knowledge domain learned. According to [9] there are five different levels of expertise: Novice: Learns from facts and context-free rules Beginner: Application of facts and context-free rules to other contexts, making first experiences Competent: Application of facts, context-free rules and own experiences to other contexts Versatile: Holistic perception of ‘gestalt’ and similarities Expert: Holistic perception of ‘gestalt’ and similarities, intuition Novices and Beginners need to be supported and led during learning. Only up from the level Competency, learners are able to direct their own learning. Additionally, levels of expertise are dynamic in that one person can have differing levels of expertise in differing knowledge domains. In one domain, she might be an expert, thus behaving as a master (informally) teaching others, in another domain she may be a novice, thus incorporating the role of an apprentice. With informal self-directed learning, learners are able to change between levels of expertise and participate in groups of experts and other learners in order to gain the greatest advantage for themselves and for the community [10]. This illustrates that the needs of a learner are influenced to a large extend by the level of expertise she has reached within one domain. Also, as shown in the section above, the current work context sets certain prerequisites of which learning resources are perceived useful in a situation. In addition, the current personal situation influences immensely which learning content is needed: a person under time pressure is much less likely to read a long report or take an eLearning course than a person who has more time or a more in-depth interest in the subject. 194 T. Ley, S.N. Lindstaedt, and D. Albert Thus, an environment which aims to support AD-HOC learning must offer a variety of learning content to the user. The more this content is already tailored to the user’s situation, the better. We believe however, that it is always useful to get an overview of the different learning resources available within the organization. That is, Novices and Beginners – who still need guidance in their learning activities – will be made aware of formal training offerings (such as seminars and eLearning courses). But at the same time other learning resources will be made available via self-directed learning. The individual learner thus has the choice of which offering fits best his personal preferences and work related needs. We refer to this variety of possible learning resources as the AD-HOC Spectrum (see Figure 2). It bridges the gap between continuously searching the company’s intranet and formal courses. Fig. 2. The AD-HOC Spectrum Many short task-oriented unconscious learning experiences and few long general conscious learning episodes represent the two extremes of the AD-HOC Spectrum. Between those extremes, AD-HOC offers the learners (workers) a variety of different resources relevant for their specific work tasks. These resources range from example documents and templates, checklists, how-to descriptions, guidelines, contacts to dedicated experts, etc. 3 Competency Development and Workplace Learning It is generally agreed that learning at the workplace can take different forms. As we have discussed in the previous section, one can differentiate between short-term performance support that would involve learning simple procedures or problem solving strategies, and long-term people development (e.g. [11], [12]). In this paper we look at the latter kind of these learning activities, namely at how employees develop competencies that enable them to perform competently in a broad range of situations. Up to this point, the use of information technology at the workplace has been primarily concerned with providing performance support, and many knowledge management applications give account of this focus. Learning, however, does also involve permanent changes in the underlying cognitive structures[12]. If we intent to consider a more holistic idea of learning at the workplace, it would therefore be Supporting Competency Development in Informal Workplace Learning 195 essential to look at human competencies, how they are developed in the workplace and how they are used to produce performance. We define competencies as personal characteristics (knowledge, skills, abilities) of employees which are relatively stable across different situations (see also [13]). Competencies can be described in terms of distinguishable elements of underlying capacities or potentials which allow job incumbents to act competently in certain situations [14]. Employees dynamically combine these elements according to the requirements of the situation in a self-organising process [15]. Traditionally, competency-based training was targeted at specific behaviors that constitute superior performance. Recently it has been argued that instead of a set of behaviors, competencies should be understood as a set of attributes that allow for superior performance, and that development should be targeted at the underlying competencies rather than at the behavioral level [11]. In accordance with this view, competency development aims to extend the capacity of a person to act competently in a number of situations by helping this person acquire additional competencies applicable for performance in several tasks. Our view of competency development is such that people acquire new competencies predominantly in interaction with real job situations and tasks (see [14]). New competencies are being developed when a person enters a new situation or task in which action is not predetermined. Reflecting on the outcomes or receiving feedback from a more experienced person helps in this development. This view is in accordance with a large body of research showing the importance of informal learning as opposed to formal training when it comes to learning at the workplace [16]. Baitsch [12] and Conlon [17] have discussed a whole variety of methods that can be used for informal learning, including mentoring, coaching, networking, modeling, effective leadership and interactions in a team environment. Employees consider alternative ways to think and behave, and reflect on processes to assess learning experience outcomes. How such development can be integrated into workplace learning scenarios is the central concern. In recent times, methods derived from competency-based human resource management (also termed “competency or skills management”) have been suggested to improve both knowledge management (KM) and eLearning. Within these methods, competencies of individual employees are being described and rated in order to improve accessibility of these assets or to develop them further. In KM, competencies have been used to create yellow pages or expert searches (see [18], [19]) in order to leverage “tacit knowledge”. Others have suggested that competencies be defined as a means to derive goals for strategic knowledge development [20]. In eLearning, comparing profiles of required competencies for different jobs to profiles of available competencies of individual employees has been utilized in an attempt to assign eLearning courses to employees who need them [21]. Some authors see competencies as a way to closer relate KM and eLearning activities in companies (e.g. [22]). In this paper we argue that KM and eLearning initiatives aimed at developing competencies of the workforce by employing competency management methods may be improved in two ways: (1) By providing a closer connection between competencies on the one hand and tasks or performance outcomes on the other, and 196 T. Ley, S.N. Lindstaedt, and D. Albert (2) by seeing competency development as an individually controlled learning process rather than a centrally managed development initiative. Issue (1) will be addressed by a framework which establishes a competency- performance connection (see section 4). We present results of a case study in a research institute of 30 members, in the following referred to as Research Ltd., where the framework was applied. Issue (2) will be addressed by two scenarios that show how our framework can be applied within an informal workplace learning approach (see section 5). The scenarios emphasize self directed learning from a knowledge repository (rather than the utilization of static courseware) and feedback mechanisms in a coaching process (rather than off the job training). 4 A Competence Performance Approach Any model for describing competencies should therefore aim to offer a tight integration between competencies and task performance. Using Korossy’s competence-performance conception (see [23]), we have developed a framework that achieves this integration. By relating competency descriptions to descriptions of task in which the competencies are being used (task competency matrix), we derive a structure on the set of competencies and on the set of tasks (competence performance structure). Table 1 gives an extract from a task competency matrix for Research Ltd. In this case, the competencies (A-G in the rows) denote typical competencies that deal with different issues of communication. The tasks (the numbers in the columns) denote several documents actually produced by employees working in projects, for example a project requirements document or a management summary. Each document represents a specific task in the project management process that encompasses all actions necessary for producing it. The document competency matrix was derived by asking project managers, which competencies (knowledge and skills) they had used when producing the documents. Competencies were both general (e.g. communicating in a team setting or with partner companies) and domain specific (e.g. knowledge of streaming technologies). While the first are used for coaching purposes, the latter ones may be used in the context of self-directed learning from a knowledge repository (see next section). Table 1. Extract from a task-competency matrix for Research Ltd Project Documents Competencies 10 11 12 13 14 17 24 26 33 41 A Communication about client requirements x x x x x x x B Discussing ideas on an informal level x x x x x C Understanding goals of others x x x x D Discussing a common practice in a team x x x x x x x E Employing effective interview techniques x F Presenting and selling own ideas x x x x x G Defining goals and persuading others x x x x x x Figure 3 shows the competence performance structure that can be derived from the matrix. The boxes in the figure represent competence states, which are characterized Supporting Competency Development in Informal Workplace Learning 197 by a specific combination of competencies (A-G). States are connected by lines denoting a subset relation. Below the competencies, numbers of documents are given that can be created in the state (documents are only listed in the minimal state). For example, in the state {A, D, G} the documents 12, 13 and 14 can be created. The method for deriving a competence performance structures is described in [13]. Fig. 3. Structure for competencies A-G and documents corresponding to the states (see [13]) Competence performance structures are based on dependencies that exist both within the set of documents and the set of competencies. Within the competence performance framework, these dependencies can be interpreted as learning prerequisites which can be used for diagnosing learning needs. For example, Figure 3 suggests that there exists a dependency between documents 12 and 13 in that document 12 requires the same competencies as document 13 (A and D) plus one additional one (G). The diagnosis of learning needs happens through an assessment of the performance outcomes (documents in this case). So from good and poor performance in any of these performances, missing competencies can be derived. As competencies are directly connected to performance outcomes, this diagnosis may happen within the usual work processes. 5 Supporting Informal Workplace Learning Competence performance structures as described in the previous chapter can be the basis for a more effective support of technology enhanced learning interventions at the workplace. They provide the basis for dynamically modeling learning goals and 198 T. Ley, S.N. Lindstaedt, and D. Albert prerequisites, and in conjunction with an AD HOC environment can be used for supporting workplace learning. As competency development is inherently an individual learning activity, we focus on two scenarios that illustrate their use in informal workplace learning. 5.1 Scenario A: Enhancing Supervisor-Employee Learning Interaction At Research Ltd., project managers are required to write a management summary at the end of each project (as part of a defined project-close-out process). In this management summary the goals of the project, the approach taken, the results achieved and the value generated are stated within a few pages. However, many project managers have difficulties taking a step back from the specific project problems and technical details to give a clear, abstract description of what was achieved. Since the management summary is published on the website of Research Ltd. and serves as a communication device to the management, its quality is of high importance. Thus, steps have to be taken to ensure the quality of the documents and to improve the capability of the project managers. Imagine now that one project manager recently has completed a project. Using the AD-HOC environment which guides him through the project-close-out process he finishes writing his management summary. Within the environment, a workflow is initiated in which the supervisor reviews the document and provides feedback about its suitability (differentiated task rating). The management summary is part of a competence performance structure, and so are other documents the project manager has previously created and which have been reviewed. Based on this information the environment determines the likely competence state the employee is in and identifies competencies the employee is likely lacking. In this case the environment finds out that the project manager in the past had low ratings in the competencies “problem abstraction” and “structured writing” which are essential for writing a management summary. The environment displays these findings to the supervisor thereby supporting the supervisor in his role as a learning coach by helping him assess strengths and weaknesses of the project manager. In this case, the project manager has made considerable improvements in “problem abstraction” but still has some deficiencies in “structured writing”. Since the development of this competency is best done by providing feedback and discussing the paper together the supervisor meets with the project manager and coaches him. This scenario illustrates the connection between the competencies “problem abstraction” and “structured writing” and the task of management summary writing. With a competence performance structure that models the relation of competencies and tasks, it becomes possible to integrate learning in the working process. From the quality of the management summary, the system suggests that the project manager should focus on the development of these specific competencies. Since these competencies are also crucial for other tasks (e.g. writing of user requirement definition) improving them will help to improve overall performance. The scenario also underlines the trend to perform competency development within the business unit as opposed to relying on centrally controlled human resource activities. Supporting Competency Development in Informal Workplace Learning 199 5.2 Scenario B: Using a Document Repository for Self-organized Learning Searching the company’s document repository for documents that have been produced in previous projects and finding pointers to the people that have produced them is a different form of informal learning that takes place at knowledge intensive workplaces. The problem is that the document repository is usually not structured according to learning requirements. Again, we suggest that competence performance structures may offer such structuring that is based on learning prerequisites among the documents that have been created. Fig. 4 shows part of the structure that was created from the data provided by the employees. The part that is shown in the figure focuses on a subset of knowledge used in e-Learning projects (domain specific competencies). The structure was visualized using Formal Concept Analysis [24], which creates concepts (the nodes in the graph) that consist of subsets of objects (documents) and subsets of attributes (competencies). Two documents (5 and 7) can be seen in the structure. The other descriptions denote competencies. All competencies used for producing a specific document can be found by following all paths upwards in the graph. Fig. 4. Formal Context of the documents (5 and 7) and domain specific competencies (101-143) needed for producing them From the graph, relationships between competencies are readily apparent. For example, we find technological knowledge (“Accessing Webservices”, “Structuring Metadata” and “Streaming Technologies”) closely related as these were evidently applied in similar contexts. Also, the two documents are related, as document 7 200 T. Ley, S.N. Lindstaedt, and D. Albert (a publication on adaptive competence testing) used a subset of competencies that was used for document 5 (a publication on learner models). When supporting a self-directed search in the document repository, these relationships can be exploited: For the author of document 7 who is searching for information on technologies used in e-Learning, document 5 might be a valuable learning resource. This scenario shows that knowing which competencies are available improves self- organized learning by offering documents and information applicable to the user in question. In this case, the environment can take on the role of the “coach” in the sense that for the initial building of the competency “technologies in eLearning” available documents are provided. Initially, no human coach is needed but can later be accessed through the environment as well. 6 Conclusion We have shown how competence performance structures that establish a connection between tasks and competencies can support informal workplace learning. Two scenarios illustrate possible areas of application. Both utilize a structure of competencies that models the learning prerequisites within the set of competencies and the relationships to the tasks in which they are applied. This provides support in competency assessment and coaching and enhances access to resources in a document repository for learning purposes. The view of competency development advocated in this work is in sharp contrast to simply teaching certain behaviors or providing employees with rules that describe performance in a specific task (for example a “how-to description” for writing a management summary). Instead, competencies also encompass attitudes and the way employees conceive of the work [25] (e.g. writing from the viewpoint of a potential customer) and high-level skills (e.g. abstraction from specific cases) that is commonly acquired by experience in working on many different tasks. We do not imply that all learning in organizations should conform to this pattern. In fact, training behaviors or providing performance support should be sufficient in many cases. Whenever tasks change quickly and employees have to dynamically adapt to new situations frequently, a competency-based approach should be favorable since it emphasizes more broadly applicable skills. In our view, support for this kind of competency development has been scarcely addressed so far. Another advantage of using competence performance structures when modeling competencies is that they offer substantial potential for automating the process of competency profiling. Because the structures integrate competencies with the tasks performed in an organization, profiling can be done within the usual work processes. Additionally, the prerequisites in the structures reduce the amount of information that has to be provided manually. If the AD-HOC environment utilizes a document management system, a workflow may be introduced in which only little information (i.e. document-competency ratings) have to be provided in order to place a certain document into the structure, and to make it accessible for technologically enhanced learning purposes. Supporting Competency Development in Informal Workplace Learning 201 References 1. Cross, J.: Informal Learning - The other 80%. http://www.internettime.com/Learning/ The%20Other%2080%25.htm (2003) 2. Adkins, S.: We are the problem: We are selling Snake Oil. http://www.internettime.com/lcmt/archives/001014.html (2003) 3. Dickover, N. 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Springer, Heidelberg (1999) 25 Sandberg, J.: Understanding Human Competence at Work: An Interpretative Approach. In: Academy of Management Journal, 43, 1 (2000) 9-25 ... This matrix is the basis for defining so-called formal concepts [2], which can be ordered in a lattice for navigation. Ley et al. show two application scenarios in the domain of informal learn- ing [3]. First, a task included in a workflow, for example the preparation of a document, is an indicator of the learner's competencies. ... ... The MILL-system either has access to such competency ratings for each worker or prompts an evaluator to judge about the competencies. Up to this point, competency-based rating resembles and formalizes the ideas of [3]. From this point on, all further steps and techniques we introduce (for competency-based rating, task-based rating and beyond) are innovative. ... ... – The MILL is centered around a systematic browsing of a concept lattice resulting from the task-competency structure. Prior work [3] focuses on the task-competency structure and resulting learning paths itself; its traversing by (temporally and conditionally) structured tasks from a workflow was not formalized, yet. The MILL innovates the view on the tasks and competencies as a dyadic one: it is possible to reason from failed tasks and from lacking competencies. ... Conference Paper Full-text available The paper presents the MILL – a system which supports planning of training measures. Its background technique, task-competency modeling, is based on formal concept analysis as an indirect and qualitative way of determining the abilities of learners. In that context, the fulfillment or failure of a work task is the indicator of a set of necessary competencies. The core of the presented approach is a matrix structure – a formal context – which has tasks as labels for its rows and competencies labeling its columns. This matrix is the basis for defining formal concepts which can be ordered in a lattice for navigation and systematic decision support on training measures in an organisation. ... In order to enable effective learning, these spaces have to be linked. One of the arising problems is cognitive disconnection between the three spaces, because "each of the spaces has an inherent structure which mirrors to some extent the mental model of the people who are using it" [8]. Benmahamed, Ermine & Tchounikine state in their work that one of the problems is to connect already available conceptual KM models to learning activities and existing learning standards such as IMS Learning Design [1]. ... ... Benmahamed, Ermine & Tchounikine state in their work that one of the problems is to connect already available conceptual KM models to learning activities and existing learning standards such as IMS Learning Design [1]. Each of the spaces listed above (i.e., work, learning, and knowledge space) is implemented on different technical systems [8]. Examples of these spaces include specific desktop applications, e-Learning platforms, and KM System such as the Intranet. ... Conference Paper Full-text available A number of recent studies have contributed to Knowledge Management (KM) and Learning integration. They are mainly based on organizational learning analysis. In this paper, KM is discussed from the viewpoint of adaptation in learning systems. The learning systems use and process great amount of different data, information, and knowledge which is necessary to be analyzed before KM methods can be applied. The main components of Adaptive Learning System (ALS) are discussed with respect to the KM processes. Goal of ALS is becoming self-directed learners. Learners will identify important resources for Life Long Learning in their field of study. For ALS is more important management of the Learners characteristics, they can define a learning agenda and follow them for reaching teaching goals. Course Management Systems as a part of ALS provide better communication with learners, quick access to course materials, and support for administrating and grading examinations. ... -Problèmes d'ordre conceptuel : par exemple (Ley et al, 2005) (Ras et al, 2005). Un apprentissage ne se réduit pas à un transfert de connaissances (Schmidt, 2005). ... ... Différentes approches et méthodes traitent du rapprochement entre e-learning et knowledge management. Certaines étendent des systèmes e-learning avec des méthodes de KM (Richter et al, 2005), d'autres cherchent à faciliter et améliorer l'apprentissage dans des systèmes de KM (Ley et al, 2005) (Yacci, 2005). Nous trouvons également des approches qui tiennent compte, dès la modélisation et la conception, des deux aspects (Schmidt 2005). ... Article Full-text available The acts to teach, to learn and to work are never socially isolated. According to (Benoit, 2000), they are the cultural resultant, articulated and developed through a defined practice gathering in a place, virtual reality or, an unspecified number actors questioning themselves and wondering about the necessary knowledge, abilities and attitudes with the acquisition and the control of competences specific to a given field, whether it is of an academic or professional nature. Our aim, with the MEMORAe approach, is to operationalize connections between e-learning and knowledge management. To that end, our objective is to model and build a learning environment taking into account at the same time these two aspects. In the e-learning side, these last years, the modelling of learning environments was studied in educational engineering according to two principal approaches: • Approach by the resources, based on the paradigm of the learning objects; • Approach by the activities, based on the concepts of learning units, activity and teaching scenario. In the knowledge management side, knowledge engineering proposes concepts, methods and techniques making it possible to model, formalize, acquire knowledge in organizations to operationalize, structure or manage in the broad sense (Charlet, 2001). The same author specifies that these methods and tools are intended to support the dynamics of knowledge in the organization. Within the framework of the MEMORAe approach, we propose to associate knowledge engineering and educational engineering in order to model and build a learning environment according to the approach by the resources. We made the choice to test and evaluate the contribution of the organizational memories based on ontologies in a context of training within a learning organization. Let's note that, on one hand, such an organization must favour learning at several levels (individual, group and organization) and maximize organizational learning ; on the other hand, it forms a communities of practice constellation. ... Skills are specific activities, and competence is the ability to carry out an activity effectively, safely and efficiently to pre-determined standards (Welsh et al., 2009). However, new competencies may be developed when a person enters a new situation or task in which action is not predetermined (Ley et al., 2005). Informal workplace learning may therefore be important to ensure organization objectives are achieved by reflecting on outcomes or receiving feedback from more experienced personnel (Ley et al., 2005). ... ... However, new competencies may be developed when a person enters a new situation or task in which action is not predetermined (Ley et al., 2005). Informal workplace learning may therefore be important to ensure organization objectives are achieved by reflecting on outcomes or receiving feedback from more experienced personnel (Ley et al., 2005). Organization planning to achieve this in a structured predicable manner is important to ensure that developing competencies and improving performance of employees does not occur by accident. ... Conference Paper Full-text available Workplace learning is important because it facilitates the application of acquired knowledge and sharpening the skills of employees. This may involve exposing employees to experienced peers who may serve as mentors and regarded as experts to less experienced employees. However, studies have shown that expertise is not correlated to number of years in experience. These studies focused more on skills that require decision making and less on the application of physical mechanical skills. Internal consistency [in decision making] has been proposed as an important criterion in determining expertise as well as agreement amongst experts [or to a standard]. Knowledge is also as important as its application within varying contexts. In general everyday work contexts, it is important to ensure that employees work according to set standards where reliability and consistency is important. Organizations may neither have the time nor expertise to design and implement sophisticated training and assessment tools for employees. This paper presents a generic framework for the quality assurance of in-house training to promote competency management of employees. Training is proposed as an annual event for all employees, “experts” and novices. Training interventions are designed to transfer knowledge based on vocational knowledge and organization specific standards as inputs to training outcomes. Process monitoring serves as another input but also as a mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness of training. Hence it serves as a single learning loop to improve worker performance. Evaluation of organization specific standards during training serves as the double learning loop toward continual improvement of organization performance using the expertise and experience of employees. ... In investigating the competencies among research support librarians in Malaysian public universities, the self-directed learning among these professionals is also indispensable to be scrutinised. Various studies have concluded that selfdirected learning has an influence on competencies ( Wiebrands and Wiebrands, 2014;Viliunas, 2013;Karakas and Manisaligil, 2012;Hashim, 2008;Park, 2008;Ley, Lindstaedt and Albert, 2005;Beatles, 2005;and Boyatzis, 2004). Other studies have looked into the relationship between self-directed learning and the competencies among librarians ( Wiebrands and Wiebrands, 2014;Irfan, Haneefa and Shyni, 2015;Reid and Tairi, 2012;and Lai and Wang, 2012). ... Article Librarians who work professionally in libraries must make themselves visible in the processes surrounding academic research. These research support librarians need to equip themselves with relevant competencies to play their share in supporting learning, enhancing teaching, improving research, providing services as well as anticipating the needs of academic researchers. In order to investigate these competencies, it is imperative to scrutinise the self-directed learning among the librarians because many studies have agreed that self-directed learning has an influence on competencies. In this study, the researcher analysed the validity and reliability of Competencies of Research Support Librarian instrument and Self-Directed Learning Traits instrument. The bank of items was developed from the Core-Competencies for Twenty-First Century CARL Librarians Model and Knowles' Andragogy-Adult Learning Theory as well as from an exhaustive literature review. Experts from librarianship and test and measurement areas reviewed the instruments in order to establish face and content validity. Internal consistency and reliability were measured using Cronbach's alpha and Rasch model. Thirty research support librarians of a local comprehensive university and a research university scores were used. The reliability test resulted in an overall value of.94. The results of the study yielded how trustworthy and dependable the instruments are and the effectiveness of the instruments in investigating the influence of self-directed learning on the competencies of research support librarian. ... The people-driven approach to e-learning can be implemented around Web 2.0 concepts (Chatti et al. 2007). Interesting studies show that " only 20-30% of what is being learned in formal training is actually transferred to the workplace in a way that enhances performance and that 80-90% of what employees know of their job, they know from informal learning " (Lindstaedt et al. 2005) & ( Cross 2003). To be effective, knowledge sharing has to involve people all being on the same page. ... Conference Paper Full-text available E-learning usually focuses on learning material, now it's widely recognized that there is a continuous research in the field of e-learning and its relationship with different concepts in information technology; it's widely known that knowledge management primary focus is how to create, use, share, and store knowledge in organizations. In learning organizations learning content can be referred as knowledge, so that it can be found that e-learning and knowledge management are interrelated and require a collaboration culture that could foster knowledge networking with technology as an enabler, Which can be implemented around Web 2.0 concepts where people can share ideas, thoughts, and experiences. This concept of e-learning can be best implemented using service oriented architecture to achieve greater and better service agility to respond to organizational changes. In this paper an e-learning framework is used to propose a service oriented architecture for e-learning system that combines the knowledge management and web 2.0 approaches ... Given the competency state of a worker, and the competency requirements of a task at hand, a discrepancy could be identified and educational interventions could be initialised. Ley, Lindstaedt and Albert [16] have suggested Competence based Knowledge Space Theory as a model to formalize competencies and their connection to workplace performance for work-integrated learning. With the Competence based Knowledge Space Theory, Korossy [14] has introduced an extension of Knowledge Space Theory [8]. ... Article Full-text available The APOSDLE project aims to improve knowledge worker productivity by supporting work-integrated learning. Our Work@Learn approach is based on re-using a wide variety of knowledge artefacts within an organization (such as project reports and meeting notes) for learning. Typically these artefacts have been built without any teaching objectives in mind. Within this contribution we present the way competencies are handled within the first APOSDLE prototype and how competency gaps are automatically identified. We then show how the APOSDLE Learning Tool automatically generates learning events relevant to the competency gap by utilizing organizational knowledge artefacts. Early evaluation results of the prototype are provided and future improvements are discussed. ... KM is related to an organizational perspective, because it addresses the lack of sharing 050 E3 J.Bus.Manage. Econ knowledge among members of the organizations by encouraging the individuals making their knowledge explicit by creating knowledge chunks which can be stored in repositories for later re-use or participating in communities of practice; opposed to that, EL emphasizes an individual perspective, as it focuses on the individual acquisition of new knowledge and the technical means to support this construction process (Ley et al, 2005). Thus, the integration of EL and KM is more than just topicoriented delivery of information chunks by following nonadaptive processes that are prescribed by a centrally managed learning initiative. ... Article Full-text available E-learning is an emerging field in the intersection of education learning, and business, referring to education services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies. This paper is an attempt to show how knowledge management (KM) and E-learning (EL) specifically can be of prominent support in the workplace. The challenge is to align the organization as a whole to a constantly changing environment in terms of learning and innovation. This paper posits that KM consists of enablers such as Information systems infrastructure, Eemployees involvement, Team working, Employee empowerment, Top management leadership and commitment that are critical to the success of a knowledge-based organization. The model presented in this paper combines e-learning and KM into adaptable an framework that provides integrated support end effect on various Media involved in the education systems. The model is a suggestion to improve teaching and learning process and how KM adds a successful help for educational consumers in selecting and evaluating e-learning media. The design of the model is based on an analysis of KM and e-learning literature and the information search process. Article The problem of learning in software project management (SPM) is attributed to the complex nature of related processes that entail both practical and theoretical knowledge. Practical learning is addressed in knowledge management (KM), while theoretical learning is debated in education. In this article, an integrated approach to KM and learning (IKML) that exploits the advantages of both KM and educational approaches is introduced to contribute to effective learning in SPM. The study first tailors the socialization, externalisation, combination, internalisation (SECI) model of KM and subsequently integrates a learning-based model into it. This article presents a conceptual framework actualising the IKML approach. Next, a hypermodel based on the conceptual framework is built and empirically evaluated to obtain evidence for its effectiveness in an individual setting. To this end, a controlled experiment is conducted that demonstrates a statistically significant change in the means of experimental groups regarding learning effect gain. Article Full-text available Carrying out today's knowledge work without information and communication technology (ICT) is unimaginable. ICT makes it possible to process and exchange information quickly and efficiently. However, accomplishing tasks with ICT is often tedious: Colleagues have to be asked, how best to proceed. Necessary resources have to be searched for in the intranet and internet. And one has to get familiar with applying the various systems and tools. This way, solving a simple task can become a time consuming process for inexperienced employees and also for those who are asked for their expertise. Therefore, at the Know-Center Graz, Austria , the AD-HOC methodology has been developed to support knowledge workers in task-oriented learning and teaching situations. This methodology is used to analyse the work processes, to identify the needed resources, tools, and systems, and finally to design an AD-HOC Environment. In this environment, systems and tools are arranged for specific work processes. Users are then guided at their work tasks and are provided with the necessary resources instantly. This article presents the AD-HOC methodology. It analyses the obstacles that hamper efficient knowledge work and how AD-HOC overcomes them. Finally, the support of users at their specific work tasks by deployed AD-HOC Environments is shown in two field studies. Chapter Maps between concept lattices that can be used for structure comparison are above all the complete homomorphisms. In Section 3.2 we have worked out the connection between compatible subcontexts and complete congruences, i.e., the kernels of complete homomorphisms. A further approach consists in coupling the lattice homomorphisms with context homomorphisms. In this connection, it seems reasonable to use pairs of maps, i.e., to map the objects and the attributes separately. Those pairs can be treated like maps. We do so without further ado and write, for instance,$$(\alpha ,\beta ):(G,M,I) \to (H,N,J),$$if we mean a pair of maps $$\alpha :G \to H,\beta :M \to N,$$ using the usual notations for maps by analogy. This does not present any problems, since in the case that $$G \cap M = + H \cap N$$ we can replace such a pair of maps (α,β) by the map\$\alpha \cup \beta :G\dot \cup M \to H\dot \cup N
Book
In this important theoretical treatise, Jean Lave, anthropologist, and Etienne Wenger, computer scientist, push forward the notion of situated learning--that learning is fundamentally a social process and not solely in the learner's head. The authors maintain that learning viewed as situated activity has as its central defining characteristic a process they call legitimate peripheral participation. Learners participate in communities of practitioners, moving toward full participation in the sociocultural practices of a community. Legitimate peripheral participation provides a way to speak about crucial relations between newcomers and oldtimers and about their activities, identities, artifacts, knowledge and practice. The communities discussed in the book are midwives, tailors, quartermasters, butchers, and recovering alcoholics, however, the process by which participants in those communities learn can be generalized to other social groups.
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In the prevalent rationalistic approaches, human competence at work is seen as constituted by a specific set of attributes, such as the knowledge and skills used in performing particular work. As an alternative to the rationalistic approaches, an interpretative approach, "phenomenography," is proposed and explored here. Findings suggest that the meaning work takes on for workers in their experience of it, rather than a specific set of attributes, constitutes competence. More specifically, the results demonstrate that the particular way of conceiving of work delimits certain attributes as essential and organizes them into a distinctive structure of competence at work.
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Informal learning's roots emerged from educational philosophers John Dewey, Kurt Lewin and Mary Parker Follett to theorists Malcolm Knowles and other successive researchers. This paper explores the background and definitions of informal learning and applications to the global workplace. Informal learning's challenges are applied to developing global professional competence, including theory, practice and policy implications. The paper argues that informal learning plays a considerable role in developing professional expertise in the workplace and private life, yet believes no current theoretical model exists to balance conflicts between the role of individual and organizational benefits in a global context.
Article
Zunächst werden drei Weiterbildungsarten aufgezeigt, die typischerweise in Unternehmen zur Erreichung unterschiedlicher Weiterbildungsziele eingesetzt werden. Jede dieser Weiter- bildungsarten stellt andere Anforderungen an die Technologie-Unterstützung, um ihren Ziel- gruppen, Zielen und Rahmenbedingungen gerecht zu werden. Im Weiteren diesen Kapitels fokussieren wir dann auf die beiden Weiterbildungsarten, die besonders charakteristisch für betriebliche Weiterbildung sind: Weiterentwicklung und Training-on-the-Job. Aufbauend auf diesem Verständnis der betrieblichen Weiterbildung zeigen wir drei wichtige Trends auf, die unserer Einschätzung nach die betriebliche Weiterbildung in den kommenden Jahren verstärkt beeinflussen werden. Eine Analyse der Trends ermöglicht die Identifizie- rung von drei Fokuspunkten, die neue Herausforderungen für CSCL-Technologien darstel- len. Hierbei steht die Einbettung der Kommunikation und Interaktion in den Kontext im Mittelpunkt. Der Kontext bezieht sich hier auf die Arbeitssituation, die Unternehmensstruk- tur, die Lehrmöglichkeiten und die Lernbedürfnisse der involvierten Personen. In jedem Kontext können natürlich allgemeine CSCL-Technologien (siehe Kapitel 2.1) eingesetzt werden - wie es auch bereits in vielen Unternehmen geschieht. Den wirklichen Mehrwert aber wird man nur durch die Berücksichtigung des Kontextes und der Anpassung der Tech- nologien auf diesen und der Einbettung in Infrastruktur erreichen können. Den Hauptteil des Kapitels bildet daher die Vorstellung dreier innovativer Ansätze, die die identifizierten Fokuspunkte angehen und zu ihrer effektiven Umsetzung auf CSCL- Technologien angewiesen sind: Skills Management, Blended Learnung und Integration von Arbeit und Lernen. Anschließend zeigen wir anhand von zwei kurzen Fallbeispielen, wie Skills Management in einem Großkonzern und die Integration von Arbeit und Lernen in einem kleinen Unternehmen umgesetzt werden können.
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Looks initially at the theoretical foundations of both competency-based training (CBT) and reflective practice, then at current approaches to CBT and reflective practice. The compatibility of these two in educational practice, and the extent to which they might be combined in an educational or training context is discussed. CBT and reflective practice are not regarded as having a mutual equivalence in adult education and training. Rather, it is argued that they constitute two approaches within this educational field which function at different levels of teaching and learning and, as such, there exists at least the potential for them to be designed and developed so as to be complementary.