02 SES 09 A, Research in Action
This paper examines the transfer of innovation after the completion of the EU-funded Learning Layers project and its Construction Pilot (2012 - 2016). The project had the task to develop digital tools and web resources to support workplace learning. The construction pilot (working mainly with partners in North Germany) developed an integrative toolset 'Learning Toolbox' to be used in vocational education and training (project-based learning) and in real work situations (to coordinate the cooperation of multiple partners in construction work. During the Learning Layers project the partners developed the Learning Toolbox into a viable product to be customised for further users. In addition the project developed and implemented concepts for training of trainers (to support the use digital tools in vocational and workplace learning).
After the end of the initial project, the developers of Learning Toolbox, the accompanying research team and some application partners in construction sector have continued the work with follow-up projects that focus on the following themes:
- supporting learning alongside workin continuing vocational training (CVT);
- promoting knowledge sharing and learning between installation teams and offices in decentralised work settings;
- promoting the use of digital tools (in particular Learning Toolbox) in different contexts of workplace learning (e.g. supporting language learning, promoting social competences and creating awareness of health and sefety regulations).
The paper examines the transfer of innovation within parallel follow-up initiatives and takes into account the diverse roles of the partners (as owners of innovation, change agents in organisations, facilitators of change processes etc.). In particular the paper draws conclusions for a new EU-funded project TACCLE4-CPD that supports the continuing professional development of teachers and trainers in using digital tools and web. In this project the author's institute is responsible for developing learning aids for teachers and trainers in the field of VET.
The first research challenge is to examine, how concepts and patterns for promoting transfer (of innovation) have developed in innovation programmes and institutionalised pilot project (in German: Modellversuche) in the field of vocational education and training (VET). In this respect the paper examines several generations of transfer studies that have been based on different concepts and organisational settings:
- Transfer-promoting measures based on the goal-settings of innovation programmes and managed by the programme coordination units;
- Transfer-promoting measures shaped as transversal projects of networked research communites working together with specific projects;
- Transfer-promoting measures as 'change laboratories' or as continuing training schemes to support practitioners.
The second challenge is to examine, how the introduction of digital tools and web resources has been integrated to domain-specific training agendas and organisational change agendas.
The third challenge is to examine, how innovative use of digital tools and web resources is progressing in the application partner organisations and how user-competences are being promoted via peer learning and peer tutoring.
The fourth challenge is to examine, how the functionality of the Learning Toolbox can support the introduction of the tools and the development of user-competences.
From the conceptual point of view the paper draws upon a series of earlier research papers by the author thad deal with the following themes:
1) Methodological developments in accompanying research within German innovation programmes in working life and in the field of VET;
2) Conceptual and practical development of VET with emphasis on work process knowledge and self-organised learning;
3) The role of innovation research in supporting social innovations in working life with emphasis on 'work process knowledge' and 'smart innovations'.
Altogether, the paper reports on work in progress in the follow-up projects. In a similar way the reporting on the interim conclusions provides a basis the work of the TACCLE4-CPD project.
The paper is based on different methodologies and use of research literature to re-examine prior work alongside the observation of follow-up activities. Firstly, the paper re-examines the final phase of the Learning Layers project and identifies critical issues for transfer of digital tools (Learning Toolbox) as support for workplace learning and work-related knowledge sharing. This is based on the examination of the final reports and on stakeholder interviews. Secondly, the paper provides a mapping, how such problems have been addressed in the ongoing follow-up projects in CVT and in the construction company. This is based on participative observation of project consortium meetings and of project-specific training events. Interim findings have been reported via blog posts. Thirdly, new 'training the trainers' initiatives of the training centre Bau-ABC to promote the use of the Learning Toolbox in specific areas of learning will be accompanied in terms of participative observation. At the moment the trainers are working with the the general themes 'health and safety' in construction work and with support for language learning (of migrant apprentices). These activities will also be reported via blog posts. Fourthly, a comprehensive overview on the above mentioned activities and on the progress achieved by April 2017 will be presented as a moodle application. This makes it possible to summarise briefly the parallel processes and their progress as well as to present the materials and software solutions used. Fifthly, the analysis of prior research literature serves the purpose of examining different transfer concepts and transfer-promoting measures during or after innovation projects. Here the following types of transfer activities are analysed: a) programme-wide transfer activities carried out by programme coordination unit to support the field agents of the pilot to continue the development work; b) project-based transfer-promoting measures that seek to create knowledge sharing networks among parallel activities; c) 'Change laboratory' activities and or similar training interventions that seek to empower practitioners as transformative agents. Altogether these analyses seek to put the transfer-promoting phase after the Learning Layers (and the follow-up activities) into a wider European group picture of such measures.
The paper provides firstly a reflective situation assessment on the possibilities for and limits to transfer-promoting measures immediately after the completion of the Learning Layers project. In this respect it brings into discussion the additional challenges that the follow-up activities have had to meet when transferring the innovation from a long-term project context to new pilot environments with different organisational constraints. Secondly, it provides an analysis on the different circumstances in which prior transfer activities in VET-oriented or organisational innovation programmes have worked either a) as preparation for the forthcoming transition to post-project phase (consolidation and dissemination in pilot contexts) or b) as bridge-building projects and networks that facilitate knowledge sharing between initial projects and multiplier-activities or c) as 'change laboratories' and similar training arrangements that support the development of practitioners into change agents and owners of innovation. In this context the paper analyses, how the different transfer-promoting approaches can learn from each other. Thirdly, it provides a comprehensive interpretation on the ways in which the follow-up activities (based on the co-participation of researchers, technical partners and application partners) have worked to incorporate digital tools into company-specific knowledge processes and into workplace learning. Finally, the paper presents the overall picture as a background analysis for the new EU-funded TACCLE4-CPD project (and forthcoming European follow-up initiatives that have more specific focus on the field of VET).
[Author:] Accompanying research between knowledge development and support for innovations in the field – Revisiting earlier innovation programmes as predecessors of the Learning Layers project. Research paper 1/3. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.26514.76483 [Author:] Research as mediator between vocational learning, work process knowledge and conceptual innovation – on the role of research in the modernisation of vocational education and training (VET). Research paper 2/3. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.16448.43529 [Author:] Accompanying research as bridge-builder between digitisation and social shaping in workplace learning – Linking ‘work process knowledge’ and ‘smart innovations’ to ‘Industry 4.0’ DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.23159.32164 Ahrens, D. & Gessler, M. 2018: Von der Humanisierung zur Digitalisierung: Entwicklungsetappen betrieblicher Kompetenzentwicklung. In Ahrens, D. & Molzberger, G. (eds.): Betriebliche Kompetenzentwicklung in analogen und digitalisierten Arbeitswelten: Gestaltung sozialer, organisationaler und technologischer Innovationen. Springer, Heidelberg. Fischer, M., Boreham, N. & Nyhan, B. (eds.) 2004: European perspectives on learning at work: the acquisition of work process knowledge, Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications for the European Communities. Gerds, P., Fischer, M. & Deitmer, L. (eds.) 2002: Was leistet die Berufsbildungsforschung für die Entwicklung neuer Lernkonzepte? Bertelsmann. Bielefeld. Kuda, E., Strauss, J., Spöttl, G. & Kassebaum, B. (eds.) 2012: Akademisierung der Arbeitswelt? Zur Zukunft der beruflichen Bildung. VSA, Hamburg. Haapasaari, A., Engeström, Y. & Kerosuo, H., 2016: The emergence of learners' transformative agency in a Change Laboratory intervention. Journal of Education and Work, 29:2. DOI:10.1080/13639080.2014.900168 Haapasaari, A., Engeström, Y. & Kerosuo, H., 2017: From initiatives to employee-driven innovations. European Journal of Innovation Management. DOI:10.1108/EJIM-09-2016-0085 Hirsch-Kreinsen, H. et al (eds.) 2015: Digitalisierung industrieller Arbeit. Die Vision Industrie 4.0 und ihre sozialen Herausforderungen. Nomos-Verlag. Pfeiffer, S., Schütt, P., Wühr, D. (eds.) 2012: Smarte Innovation. Ergebnisse und neue Ansätze im Maschinen- und Anlangenbau. Springer VS, Wiesbaden. Rauner F. 2002a: Die Bedeutung des Arbeitsprozesswissens für eine gestaltungsorientierte Berufsbildung. In Fischer, M. & Rauner, F. (eds.): Lernfeld Arbeitsprozess. Ein Studienbuch zur Kompetenzentwicklung in gewerblich-technischen Aufgabenbereichen. Nomos, Baden-Baden. Rauner, F. 2002b: Modellversuche in der beruflichen Bildung: Zum Transfer ihrer Ergebnisse. ITB-Forschungsberichte 03/2002. Schemme, D. & Novak, H. (Eds.) 2017: Gestaltungsorientierte Forschung – Basis für soziale Innovationen. Berichte zur beruflichen Bildung. Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, Bonn. Schemme, D., Novak, H. & Garcia-Wülfing, I. (Eds.) 2017: Transfer von Bildungsinnovationen - Beiträge aus der Forschung.Berichte zur beruflichen Bildung. Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung, Bonn. TACCLE 2009: The E-Learning Handbook for Classroom Teachers. GO! Onderwijs van de Vlaamse Gemeenscahp, Brussels. Twardy, M. (Ed.) 1995: Modellversuchsforschung als Berufsbildungsforschung. Köln.
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