19-T3 Learning for and in vocations and professions

course coordinators/tutors
Dr Renate Wesselink (renate.wesselink@wur.nl
Dr Simon Beausaert (s.beausaert@maastrichtuniversity.nl
Prof. dr Elly de Bruijn (E.deBruijn@ou.nl
Michael Hoven (f.hoven@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Course description 
Nowadays organizations are dealing with a variety of challenges. Knowledge evolves very quickly and there are continuous technological, economic and social innovations. In this respect, more than ever before, human capital is the main asset of organizations. Given the dynamic environment of organizations, investment in human capital implies a strategic approach of supporting learning at the workplace, from the beginning onwards (e.g. internships). 

Central focus of this course is (how to support) Learning and Development in the workplace. This learning already starts in initial (vocational) education and continues during working life as professionals working in organizations. More specifically, in this course the following topics will be discussed: I) the genesis of workplace learning, II) how does initial vocational and professional education prepare for professional expertise of (future) professionals?, III) which mechanisms and strategies facilitate the syntheses between what is learned in the various contexts (i.e., in particular school and workplace)?, and IV) what can organizations do to support continuous development of professional expertise on an individual, team, organization and network level in order to improve the employment of human capital? 

The course pays special attention to contemporary research questions in the field (i.e. to what extent can informal learning be supported?, what are outcomes on the level of the individual, teams, and organizations?, what is the result of hybrid learning environments?, to what extent is boundary crossing a concept that can support our research?) and the challenges related to the different research methods (how to measure informal learning – could socio-metric badges play a role?, how to measures the outcomes on individual, team, organization and network level? And how to cross these different levels in analyses?) used to investigate those questions. 

This course will stimulate PhD candidates’ conceptual thinking on learning in the workplace and development of professional expertise and broaden their perspective on relevant research questions, research methods, and discussions by showing the multidisciplinary background of concepts and methods involved, discuss about contemporary approaches and let them study a topic at the crossroad of the course and their dissertation. 

Course objectives
After successful completion of the course, the PhD candidates: 

  • understand the fundamental issues in the scientific domain of two of the three following domains: 1) workplace learning in the context of initial vocational education, 2) professional expertise (development) and 3) team, organizational and network learning;
  • have insight into contemporary research methods (inquiry about professional expertise; educational design research; case studies; informal learning; organizational learning)
  • are able to apply notions from literature into a scientific argumentation beneficial for their own PhD trajectory.

Requirements/entry level 
The students should have an academic master degree, but no further requirements need to be fulfilled. 

Specification of the workload 
Given that the course counts 3 credits, 84 hours should be invested in the course to successfully pass het course. The following time distribution is foreseen: 

  • 32 contact hours
  • 20 hours of preparation (5 hours/session)
  • 6 hours preparing presentation (see Tasks)
  • 30 hours writing the paper (see Tasks)

The schedule is as follows. Days start at 10 am and end at 5 pm with half an hour break in between. Starting time could be adjusted, depending on how far PhD candidates have to travel. 

Day 1 – Tuesday October 8 
· General Introduction session – (1/2 hour – Simon Beausaert and Renate Wesselink) and Module 1 Introduction into workplace learning (1/2 day – Eva Kyndt) – obligatory module 
· Working session (1/2 day supervised by Simon Beausaert and Renate Wesselink) 

Day 2 Wednesday October 9 
· Module 2 Professional expertise development (1/2 day – Elly de Bruijn) – restricted optional 
· Module 3 Learning at the workplace in initial vocational education: a curriculum design perspective (1/2 day – Ilya Zitter) – restricted optional 

Day 3 Thursday November 21 
· Working session (1/2 day under supervision of Simon Beausaert and Renate Wesselink) 
· Module 4 Contemporary research methods in workplace learning (1/2 day – Maaike Endedijk) – obligatory 

Day 4 Friday November 22 
· Module 5 Learning in professional organisations (1/2 day Rob Poell) – restricted optional. 
· Module 6 Collective learning in the workplace (1/2 day Piet van den Bossche) – restricted optional 

Day 5 Tuesday December 3 
· Final online meeting- PhD candidates are going to share during a Pecha Kucha presentation about what they have learned from the different modules and how they can connect that to their PhD project. 

8 October: Studiecentrum OU Utrecht, Vondellaan 202 Utrecht: https://www.ou.nl/-/utrecht
9 October: Cursus en Vergadercentrum Domstad, Koningsbergerstraat 9 Utrecht https://www.accommodatiedomstad.nl/contact/
21-22 November, 3 December: Vergadercentrum Vredenburg, Vredenburg 19, Utrecht https://www.vergadercentrumvredenburg.nl/route/

Maximum number of participants 24 

This is a 3-ECTS credit course, which will be assessed through a paper on a topic that covers both the course as well as the dissertation of the participant and a Pecha Kucha presentation on what the candidate learned during the Workplace learning theme course. Attendance and active participation to the course are conditional. The PhD candidates will receive a pass/fail for both the paper and the Pecha Kucha presentation (evaluation criteria will be shared during the course).