Working further with the Learning Toolbox – Overview on current activities in construction sector

16/06/2017 by

After the final review of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project (see my blogs from January and February) I have tried to report on the follow-up activities in North Germany and with our partners in construction sector. In my blogs in March, April and May I have reported on ongoing projects or new initiatives in which the use of Learning Toolbox (LTB) has played an important role. As these blogs have been based on particular meetings or workshops, the picture may have remained somewhat fragmentary. However, this week we have had a series of meetings with different counterparts. This has made it possible to create a group picture of ongoing activities. Below I will report on the discussions in the three first meetings of this week in which I was present. Here it is worthwhile to note that none of these meetings was focusing only on specific uses of LTB

Knowledge Maturing and Socio-technical (Design) Patterns

02/06/2017 by

At EuroPLoP 2016, we have joined the conversation with the pattern community with respect to the approach of orienting large-scale collaborative research projects towards patterns. Our contribution which outlined a knowledge maturing process for patterns received intense feedback from the community as part of so-called “writer’s workshops”. There the paper was discussed by the workshop participants with the authors as “flies on the wall”. This feedback is now incorporated into a camera ready version of the paper for the post-proceedings to be published beginning of 2017. The key contribution is that extends the perspective on the knowledge process that leads to patterns towards early phases and applies that to the context of collaborative research projects. Apart from that it was also unique experience at a conference that put a lot of emphasis on trust building and community formation through non-competetitive group games and a lot of opportunities for informal exchange.

MATEL 2016


This year’s MATEL edition in Lyon, France (organized by EmployID members Christine Kunzmann, Carmen Wolf, and me) with more than 20 participants focused on the further developing the ideas of patterns (see an introduction into the insights from previous workshops), particularly on the challenges in dealing with motivational and affective issues in a systematic way. A larger part of the discussion covered the spectrum of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and the interindividual differences, particularly in the context of formal education. Does it depend on the subject, such as the usual argument that for many students learning maths cannot be fully achieved through measures focussed on intrinsic motivation? Does it depend the formal context around, such as hierarchically and strictly organized companies, or the strict bachelor and master programmes that make students focus on credits and minimizing their efforts? Or does it depend on the individual identity and presumed compatibility

Shaping digital tools for continuing vocational training in construction sector – the DigiProB workshop in May

23/05/2017 by

Last Friday I visited a workshop hosted by my ITB colleagues for yet another follow-up activity of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. This time the German-funded DigiProB project had a workshop on preparing digital tools for continuing vocational training (CVT) in the construction sector. The participants (in addition to my ITB colleagues) were training managers from the training centre Bau-ABC, guest lecturers of their CVT schemes and the software developer supporting the project. I have had several encounters with the DigiProB project but this time I could witness that the participants were making progress in shaping digital tools to support their training activities. But let us first recapitulate what the project is about and what it tries to achieve. The DigiProB project – Pedagogic challenges for CVT trainers and participants The aim of the DigiProB project is to support the successive CVT schemes in construction sector (Vorarbeiter, Werkpolier,

Introducing Learning Layers tools to construction companies – Insights and working issues

17/05/2017 by

Once again I am taking a look at some of the follow-up activities of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project in the construction sector. As I have mentioned in my earlier blogs, my ITB-colleagues and the developers of the Learning Toolbox (LTB) have started cooperation with some German construction companies to launch company-specific pilot activities. In the first phase they agreed to start with feasibility studies. Last week the LTB developers were in Bremen and made some field visits to different sites of our partner organisations with ITB colleagues. At the end of the week we had a wrap-up meeting with one of the companies in ITB (and thus I could attend as and observer). The approach In the “Exploitation report” of the LL project we (in ITB) had already outlined our approach to such feasibility studies in the following way: “Development of a framework for ‘Betriebsbezogene Analysetage’ for identifying

What comes after “Learning Layers”? – Part Four: Further steps with Bau-ABC trainers and ‘health and safety’

11/05/2017 by

One month ago I wrote the third post on follow-up activities of our completed EU-funded project Learning Layers (LL).  In the three posts I informed on our initiative on digital media in the area of ‘health and safety’ (Arbeitssicherheit und Gesundheitsschutz). Before the Easter break I had had two meetings with full-time trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) of the training centre Bau-ABC. I reported on the starting points of the initiative, some positive surprises and some challenges to modify the approach already after the first two meetings. Then we had a few weeks’ break due to the Easter holidays and the major conference and trade fair Bohrtechniktage (the former Brunnenbauertage) on Bau-ABC premises in Rostrup. Now I was back from my holiday trips and some of the trainers in Bau-ABC were also available. This time we didn’t have the whole group assembled. Instead, we came together last Friday as

Revisiting the Learning Layers experience – A “ToDo List” for forthcoming conferences

30/04/2017 by

It just happened so that I had little chance to blog during the April month. Obviously this is due to the fact that I and my colleagues are still in a transition from our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project to successor activities. And as I have written in my previous posts, these follow-up activities need quite a lot of time for preparation – they are not merely continuation of the LL activities. I have experienced this in my initiative with the trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) of the training centre Bau-ABC on the theme ‘health and safety’ – it needs more groundwork than I expected. My ITB colleagues have experienced this in the ongoing projects and funding bids with partly new application partners and priority themes. However, we are not through with the key themes of the Learning Layers’ Construction pilot – although we have finished the final reporting quite some

What comes after “Learning Layers”? – Part Three: Getting deeper with vocational learning, ‘health and safety’ and digital media

03/04/2017 by

In my two previous blogs I referred to the fact that our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project had come to an end and that we (the ITB team involved in the construction sector pilot) are working with follow-up activities. I then described briefly, how I came to start a joint initiative on digital media in the area of ‘health and safety’ (Arbeitssicherheit und Gesundheitsschutz) with trainers of the training centre Bau-ABC. In my previous post I sketched the initiative roughly. Now – after our second meeting – I can give more information and I need to reflect on lessons  learned already at this stage. Looking back – the achievements with the Learning Layers project Firstly I need to remind myself how this initiative drew upon the achievements of the LL project. During the project some of the trainers had created WordPress blogs to present their training contents (Project

What comes after “Learning Layers”? – Part Two: Bau-ABC trainers working with digital media and ‘health and safety’

31/03/2017 by

In my previous blog I referred to the fact that our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project had come to an end and that the final review has already taken place. For us – the ITB team that had worked in the construction pilot this has meant a change of perspective from developing and testing new digital tools to a phase of adaptation of these tools and setting them to new contexts. In my previous post I mainly focused on the cooperation initiatives with interested construction companies that wanted to test Learning Toolbox (the integrative digital toolset) for their purposes. These initiatives have started from mini-pilots with the option of working into something better. At the same time we wanted continue with the trainers of Bau-ABC Rostrup with a small-scale initiative that helps us to find a way to work further with the use of digital media in construction sector. For

What comes after “Learning Layers”? – Part One: The follow-up activities are taking shape

30/03/2017 by

As the readers of this blog have observed, most of my posts since November 2012 have dealt with our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. However, now the Learning Layers project has been  completed and the final review has taken place (I blogged on this in January and February). During its active period (2012-2016) the project supported the introduction of digital media, web tools and mobile devices to support workplace learning. Our organisation ITB was in charge of the sectoral pilots in North German construction industry and craft trades. The ITB team worked mainly with the intermediate training centre Bau-ABC Rostrup and with the network for ecological construction work (NNB) in Verden. The main achievement of the construction pilot was the co-design, development and pilot testing of the “Learning Toolbox (LTB)” – an integrative toolset to support learning at work. The key activities and results reported by the ITB team are

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