Tag Archives: interorganisational learning

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 3, 2016 – Overview

Construction pilot articles of the Learning Layers project (Year 4)

Pekka Kämäräinen

The Learning Toolbox Chronicle is a collection of articles on the work of the Construction pilot of the Learning Layers project. The co-design process that was initiated in 2013 by the project partners from the training centre Bau-ABC Rostrup has led to the development of the integrative toolset Learning Toolbox (LTB) to support online learning and knowledge sharing.

The articles of Vol. 3, 2016 report on the pilot activities of the fourth year of the Learning Layers project – on the major training campaign in Bau-ABC, on the pilot testing of Learning Toolbox and on reporting on the results.

Article 1/2016 Insights into “Theme Room” training on digital media in Bau-ABC

This article covers the launch of the Theme Room training campaign in Bau-ABC and the interim assessment of the implementation Theme Room workshops (in November 2015).

Article 2/2016 Peer learning and using digital media in Theme Room workshops

This article gives insights into peer learning in Theme Room workshops with focus on the themes ‘Social media’ and ‘Digital learning contents’.

Article 3/2016  Piloting with Learning Toolbox (LTB) takes off in Bau-ABC

This article gives a picture on the preparation, launch and early follow-up of the piloting with Learning Toolbox in Bau-ABC (from March 2016 on).

Article 4/2016  Piloting with other Learning Layers Tools in Bau-ABC – Learning Toolbox in good company

This article reports on the piloting with two other Learning Layers tools in Bau-ABC – the video annotation tool AchSo and the social augmented reality application SOAR.

Article 5/2016  New fields of piloting with Learning Toolbox (LTB) in Bau-ABC

This article reports on peer tutoring sessions with Bau-ABC trainers to promote the use of Learning Toolbox in new trades and in the overarching learning area ‘Health and Safety’.

Article 6/2016  Learning Toolbox for trans-national mobility – preparing stacks with and for Spanish apprentices

This article reports on a workshop with Spanish apprentices who are getting apprentice training in Bau-ABC within the Mobipro-EU project. In the workshop we explored the possibility to use Learning Toolbox as support for such trans-national mobility.

Article 7/2016  Recent reports on the use of Learning Toolbox in practice – in Bau-ABC training and at a construction site in Verden

This article reports on a recent findings on the use of Learning Toolbox in Bau-ABC training and on at a construction site supervised by Thomas Isselhard (from Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen) in Verden.

Article 7/2016 Recent reports on the use of Learning Toolbox in practice – in Bau-ABC training and at a construction site in Verden

Pekka Kämäräinen

In the earlier articles I have reported on the introduction of the integrative toolset Learning Toolbox (LTB) into apprentice training in our partner organisation Bau-ABC Rostrup (later on referred to as Bau-ABC). In the beginning of September 2016 I made a field visit with Markus Manhart (UIBK) and Jaanika Hirv (TLU) to collect feedback on the way trainers and apprentices have used the LTB. Below I report firstly some of our findings from focus group sessions and interviews. I also make some points on further uses of LTB to overcome some challenges in Bau-ABC training that we have discussed during the project work.

Shortly before that visit our research team organised a workshop for representatives of construction companies on the uses of LTB at construction work. In this workshop, architect Thomas Isselhard from our other partner organisation NNB (Netzwerk für Nachhaltiges Bauen) in Verden gave a presentation on using LTB at a construction site. He describes very lively, how their organisation started with the basics and got their contractors and other counterparts interested in the benefits of such toolset. The presentation was recorded on video and the links to the video are shared below.

In the final reflections I discuss, how we as a research team have interpreted the value of  these findings and reports as basis for future-oriented scenarios in construction work.

Case 1: Learning Toolbox as support for apprentice training

In earlier articles on this page we have reported, how Bau-ABC trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) in have used LTB to support their training. In the beginning of the piloting (with new groups of apprentices in Bau-ABC) they prepared specific stacks and content tiles to support the apprentices’ project with which they were starting (on stacks and tiles, see the Learning Toolbox online guide). In order to spread the use of LTB and to consolidate the learning of apprentices, to patterns of cooperation and peer tutoring emerged:

  • The pilot group of well-builders (Brunnenbauer) rotated in a short time across several neighbouring trades (metalworking, road-building, pipeline-building) to get basic training in their areas. To support their learning, the trainers had built further stacks that matched closely with that of the well-builders for the other trades.

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Screenshots 1 and 2: Stacks from two neighbouring trades – well-builders and pipeline builders

  • The pilot group of carpenters (Zimmerer) was involved in a joint project with bricklayers (Maurer) which required learning in both trades (Projekt Holzrahmenbau). Here the trainers of the two trades had built a set of stacks bringing together information on the joint task and background knowledge from both trades.

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Screenshots 3 and 4: Linked stacks built for the joint project of carpenters and bricklayers

In the interviews with trainers and focus group meetings we found interesting differences in the training approaches:

  • Trainers who follow a problem-oriented training strategy tend to equip  learners with comprehensive resources. The apprentices need to search as self-organised learners  to find the problem-relevant information. The apprentices accepted this as training for their work situations on remote working sites when they have to be prepared for In a nutshell surprises. For them, the LTB can be characterised as a ‘well of information’.
  • Trainers who follow an interest-oriented training strategy tend to provide in the beginning fewer resources and only gradually open access to new resources. The learners are nurtured step-by-step with new impulses and challenges once they have started to find their own solutions and ways of working. In this case, the LTB can be characterised as a ‘watering can’.

When preparing scenarios for further use of LTB I shifted the emphasis to other challenges we had discussed with Bau-ABC trainers during the project – how to make training in Health and Safety (Arbeitssicherheit und Gesundheitsschutz) more inspiring.  Another similar issue was, how to provide easy and filtered access to DIN norms that are relevant for skilled workers working on the site.

In both cases it is possible to support learning by providing filtered access to information via overview on the respective resources on Moodle (or similar platform). Then linking LTB to the respective Moodle application (or similar application) the users could find the resources easier (LTB as a well’). Then, in the training with such resources the training can introduce some kind of ‘gamification’ to guide the learners from tasks that require general knowledge to more demanding cases that call for special expertise (‘LTB as a watering can’).

Case 2: Using LTB at construction site – making it happen

Our second case is based on Thomas Isselhard’s presentation on the use of LTB as support for coordination of the work at a construction site. Two videos recorded on his presentation show, how the use of LTB helps to avoid communication gaps between different parties involved (video 1) and how to get new users accustomed to work with LTB (video 2).

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Screenshots 3 and 4: Retrieving updated construction plans with the help of LTB mobile app

The situations that Thomas presents as examples show, how the functionality of LTB help to overcome the gaps. Likewise, he demonstrates, how LTB as an integrative toolset can be customised for the users and by the users. Furthermore, he give insights into the ways in which new users get introduced to using LTB on the same occasion when getting their instructions for the construction work. With further examples he shows, how the contractors (or their construction workers) benefit from using the LTB for real-time knowledge sharing – instead of using outdated plans or wasting time for unnecessary searches. Also, they could send photos as progress reports to the LTB stack of that construction site immediately.

When preparing scenarios for promoting further use of LTB, it was possible to draw upon the mutually linked Verden-based organisations and networks for ecological construction work and outline their respective functions and target groups. In this way the ‘scenario’ became a set of working agendas addressing the uses of LTB by architects, craft trade companies, trade-specific networks, the permanent exhibition in Verden and the newly established regional competition of the Federal State of Lower Saxony to award energy-efficient building and renovation projects (“Die Grüne Hausnummer”).

Reflections

As researchers we have used these cases to interpret the above presented findings in the light of our background theories and concepts:

  • For us the first case – the Bau-ABC trainers’ transition to use LTB – is an example of gradual digital transformation and as enhancement of their pedagogy. Here, it is worthwhile to emphasise that the trainers have challenged apprentices to become self-organised learners and to take ownership on their learning. With the use of LTB they have seen more possibilities – and the learners have felt themselves more empowered. In this way the use of LTB has strengthened the training and learning culture based on action-oriented learning (Handlungsorientiertes Lernen) in Bau-ABC.
  • For us the second case – the use of LTB at the construction site in Verden – is a micro-case that demonstrates organisational and cross-organisational learning in a local context. Here we underline that ‘organisational learning’ is not merely a result of good management skills or good consultancy. Instead, the key point is in finding the way to promote interactivity and real-time knowledge sharing between the construction site manager, craftsmen and other stakeholders involved.

From the perspective of application partner organisations we see that the LTB has been developed to the degree of maturity to support the application partners. Also, both trainers in Bau-ABC and the networks of Verden have found their ways to customise the functionality for different use cases in apprentice training and construction work. In addition, new areas of training, networking and cross-organisational learning have been identified for follow-up initiatives have been identified.

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 3, 7/2016

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 2, 2015 – Overview

Construction Pilot articles of the Learning Layers project (Year 3)

Pekka Kämäräinen

The Learning Toolbox Chronicle is a collection of articles on the work of the Construction pilot of the Learning Layers project. The co-design process that was initiated in 2013 by the project partners from the training centre Bau-ABC Rostrup has led to the development of the integrative toolset Learning Toolbox (LTB) to support online learning and knowledge sharing.

The articles of Vol. 2, 2015 report on activities of the third year of the Learning Layers project Construction pilot that paved the way for the piloting with the Learning Toolbox in the fourth year of the project.

Article 1/2015 The Learning exhibition “nachhaltig.bauen.erleben” opened in Verden (25.4.2015)

In April 2015 the application partner Agentur experienced a highlight when the joint exhibition and office building of the organisations for ecological construction work (Agentur, NNB and NZNB) was inaugurated. In this context the Learning Exhibition “nachhaltig.bauen.erleben(sustainable.construction work. lived experience) was opened.

Article 2/2015 Training Day on Learning Layers tools in Bau-ABC Rostrup (11.5.2015)

In May 2015 the application partner Bau-ABC organised its annual Training Days for training its own staff. In this context the research partners ITB and Pontydysgu were invited to organise workshops to explore the use of Learning Layers tools – in particular of the Learning Toolbox – with Bau-ABC trainers and continuing vocational training coordinators.

Article 3/2015 Learning Layers meets Finnish promoters of apprentice training (Espoo 4.6.2015)

In June 2015 the research partners ITB and Aalto organised a meeting with Finnish promoters of apprentice training to share information on the Learning Layers pilots in construction sector (in Finland and Germany) and to discuss the developments in Finnish apprentice training.

Article 4/2015 Learning Layers presents the Learning Toolbox Beta version in the International VET conference and on a field visit to Bau-ABC (Rostrup/Bremen 2.9.-3.9.2015)

In September 2015 the developers of the Learning Toolbox launched the public Beta version via Google Playstore. This was was combined to a field visit to Bau-ABC (with ITB and Pontydysgu) and to a workshop in Bremen International Vocational Education and Training conference. 

Article 5/2015 Learning Layers in dialogue with other projects at ECER 2015 (Budapest 9.9.2015)

In September 2015 the research partners ITB and Pontydysgu participated in the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2015) in Budapest. Here the Learning Layers project was presented in an ITB-led symposium that brought the project into dialogue with two other projects working with digital media and web resources as support for learning.

Article 6/2015 Learning Layers meets Singapore Workforce Development Agency (Bremen 16.9.2015)

In September 2015 the research partners ITB and Pontydysgu received a 14-person delegation from Singapore Workforce Development Agency, led by the Chief Executive and Chief Research Officer. The working meeting with the delegation focused on the development of Learning Layers tools and their use to support learning in workplace contexts. The visitors informed of their new innovation program iN.LEARN 2020.

Article 6/2015 Learning Layers meets Singapore Workforce Development Agency (Bremen 16.9.2015)

Pekka Kämäräinen, Ludger Deitmer and Dirk Stieglitz

The research partners ITB and Pontydysgu had a working meeting with Singapore Workforce Development Agency. The delegation was led by  Chief Executive Ng Cher Pong and Chief Research Officer Gog Soon Joo and consisted of 12 participants (from the agency, from the Ministry of Manpower and from partner organisations). The delegation was on European tour and their main target in Germany was a meeting with Learning Layers project in Bremen.

In the first part of the meeting the ITB team presented information on the Learning Layers project (with emphasis on the construction pilot and on the development of the  Learning Toolbox). In addition Dirk Stieglitz from Pontydysgu  internet demonstration that showed, how the Learning Toolbox can be co-developed by the users by designing tiles, pages and stacks (for managing contents, web resources and communications).

Singapore_WDA

In the second part of the meeting the visitors informed us of the vocational education and training (VET) system in Singapore, on the role of public authorities, of their agency and of public-private partnerships as well as private-private partnerships. They emphasised that the key instrument for developing VET and continuing training is not seen in regulations but in the financing of training (e.g. via vouchers and other arrangements). From this point of view the visitors were keen to learn more on the the German dual system, on the partnership arrangements and on the commitment of enterprises to training. In addition they were very interested to learn more of the further deployment of the Learning Toolbox.

The visitors informed that the government of Singapore has approved to launch the Innovative Learning 2020 (iN.LEARN 2020) project of the agency and of the Singapore Institute of Adult Learning. The iN.LEARN 2020 is a multi-year national project with the goal of shaping learning design and it starts in October 2015. The visitors expressed their willingness to maintain contacts with the Learning Layers projects and are looking forward to next encounters.

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 2, 6/2015

Article 5/2015 Learning Layers in dialogue with other projects at ECER 2015 (Budapest 9.9.2015)

Pekka Kämäräinen

The Learning Layers partners ITB and Pontydysgu have promoted the work of Learning Layers in the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) from the beginning of the project. In the ECER 2014 (in Porto) ITB and Pontydysgu had a joint symposium on the relations between participative design and accompanying research. For the ECER 2015 ITB and Pontydysgu prepared a symposium to present the work of three parallel projects on developing and using digital media and web resources in order to promote learning at the workplace and in work organisations. The symposium was based on the inputs of each project (with brief discussion after the presentation). Then there was a joint discussion supported by an invited discussant.

The first presentation by Falk Howe and Werner Müller focused on the ITB project Kompetenzwerkst@tt (‘Competence workshop’) that started as a curriculum development project to promote holistic approaches to occupational fields of activity (Handlungsfelder) and characteristic Working and Learning Tasks (Lern- und Arbeitsaufgaben) in vocational learning. In this presentation the main thrust was given on the role of e-portfolios as part of Kompetenzwerks@tt approach. The presenters showed, how the e-portfolios are used in retrospective sense (documenting already acquired learning gains) and in prospective sense (for shaping learning scenarios).

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Screenshot 1 and 2: Working with the Kompetenzwerkstatt e-portfolio for apprentices

The second presentation by Pekka Kämäräinen, Ludger Deitmer and Werner Müller focused on the Learning Layers with insights into the co-design processes and into the Learning Toolbox as an integrative toolset to support learning in the context of work. Then, the presentation shifted the emphasis from apprentice training (the current pilot context) to continuing vocational training (CVT). The presentation outlined a new project initiative to support the training of general construction site managers (Geprüfte Polier) with digital media and web tools. Finally the presentation discussed some barriers to and challenges for such project work in construction sector but also on emerging changes.

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Screenshot 3 and 4: Mapping the R&D context of the DigiProB project in continuing vocational training for construction professionals

The third presentation by Graham Attwell dealt with the Employ-ID project that focuses on the changes in the public employment services (PES) in Europe (with major pilots initiated in the UK). The background of the project is in the changing role of PES organisations due to changes in working life and occupations. Now these services are required to produce data of changing labour markets and analyse the employment prospects of different target groups. Based on these results they are required to propose employment promotion measures and initiatives for self-employment. One of the contributions of the Employ-ID project was to organise an adapted MOOC (using a social network platform based on MOOC technology) to stimulate community-based online learning of dispersed PES services.

In the joint discussion the participants drew attention to the complementary relations between the projects. In particular they emphasised the relevance of the e-portfolio of the Kompetenzwerkst@tt for the further work with the Learning Toolbox. Also, the discussion emphasised the relevance of lessons from the pilot MOOCs for forthcoming pilots in the field of vocational education and workplace training.

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 2, 5/2015

Article 2/2015 Training Day on Learning Layers tools in Bau-ABC Rostrup (11.5.2015)

Pekka Kämäräinen, Ludger Deitmer, Werner Müller and Lars Heinemann

The Training Days are a regular training event for the staff of Bau-ABC Rostrup, the application partner of the Learning Layers project. This year the research partners ITB and Pontydysgu were invited to organise three workshop sessions during the first day. Two of these sessions for targeted for different groups of trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) and the third one for the coordinators of continuing training (including also the ICT support staff).

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All these sessions followed the same structure. Firstly there was a brief overview on the Learning Layers project as a whole, on the Learning Toolbox as the central ‘tool’ for our pilots in the construction sector. Secondly there was a brief explanation how these elements were brought into a joint system architecture that is managed with different software solutions. Thirdly, there was an online-demonstration that presented the functionality of the Learning Toolbox that was being developed for the forthcoming Beta-version.

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These presentations paved the way for group work. For these sessions the trainers had selected thematic projects that they use in apprentice training. In the group with continuing vocational training we discussed the phases of presence training and the phases of self-organised learning as contexts for using Learning Layers tools. In addition we discussed the issue of engaging visiting trainers (Referenten) as users of Learning Layers tools.

During the group work the trainers identified points of intervention for using Learning Toolbox (i.e. retrieving information, using third party apps, documenting phases of work with videos and annotating videos). In the group work with the representatives of Continuing Vocational Training (CVT) the research partners gathered points to be taken up in a spin-off project that was being prepared for a specific CVT program.

Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 2, 2/2015

LTB Videos from Verden: Use of Learning Toolbox (LTB) for managing construction site (2016)

Below we present two LTB-videos that were recorded in the workshop on uses of the Learning Toolbox (LTB) that was organised for representatives of craft trades companies (in construction sector) in September 2016 in Institut Technik & Bildung (ITB).

The videos are based on the presentation of architect Thomas Isselhard, application partner of the Learning Layers project, representing the network for ecological construction work (Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen, NNB). He gave a presentation on the use of LTB as support for coordination of the work at a construction site in Verden (North Germany).

LTB-Video 1 (Verden): Thomas Isselhard on the use of LTB as an architect

In the first video Thomas discusses the staring points for using LTB to share basic information, update revised construction plans and to avoid communication gaps between different parties involved with the construction work.

LTB-Video 2 (Verden): Thomas Isselhard on using LTB together with contractors and craftsmen

In the second video Thomas and other participants discuss, how craft trade companies can start using LTB with simple content tiles (based on the standard processes and filing systems) and get other users accustomed to work with LTB.  The craftsmen are inducted to use LTB when they get their instructors for their tasks. Here we learn of the benefits of real-time knowledge sharing as well as reporting on progress on the site.

LTB Videos aus Verden: Anwendung von Learning Toolbox (LTB) in der Koordination von Bauprozessen (2016)

Unten präsentieren wir zwei LTB-Videos die in einer Workshop über die Anwendung des Learning Toolbox (LTB) in September 2016 in Institut Technik & Bildung (ITB) organisiert wurde. Die Teilnehmer waren Vertreter von Baufirmen bzw. Handwerksbetrieben im Bausektor in der Stadt Bremen oder in der Bremen-region.

Die Videos  basieren auf die Präsentation von Architekt Thomas Isselhard, Praxispartner des Learning Layers Projekts (als Gründungsmitglied des Netzwerks Nachhaltiges Bauen, NNB). Er hat ein Fallbeispiel über die Anwendung des LTB als unterstützung für die Koordination der Bauprozessen auf einer Baustelle in Verden dargestellt.

LTB-Video 1 (Verden): Thomas Isselhard über die Anwendung des LTB als Architekt

Im ersten Video diskutiert Thomas die Ausgangspunkte für die Anwendung des LTB für die Bereitstellung der Grundinformation, Aktualisierung der Bauplänen sowie Überbrückung der Informationslücken zwischen den Beteiligten auf die Baustelle.

LTB-Video 2 (Verden): Thomas Isselhard on using LTB together with contractors and craftsmen

Im zweiten Video diskutieren Thomas und andere Teilnehmer, wie die Betriebe mit dem LTB arbeiten können. Thomas betont, dass man mit wenigen einfachen Kacheln anfangen kann, um die Grundinformation (gemäss Standardprozeduren und betrieblichen Gewohnheiten) zu organisieren. Die Einführung mit neuen Anwendern (Fachkräfte) im selben Zusammenhang stattfinden kann, wenn man die Daten für Arbeitsaufgaben bereitstellt.  Mit konkreten Beispielen zeigt er, wie die Handwerker oder Unternehmer Zeit dadurch sparen, wenn sie jederzeit aktuelle Pläne und Dokumente mittels LTB finden.

Connecting the designers and the users – Stories about healthcare workplace learning – sharing


This video is an example of how Layers is using technology to share initial reports from the fieldwork with the developers and researchers in the design teams. Leeds is undertaking explorative studies with 3 GP practices in the UK, spending time with their staff to understand how they currently learn at work. These videos were made to share early stories and observations from the fieldwork with the Layers developers/researchers to help them to get a richer feel for the healthcare working and learning context. Pseudonyms have been used in these stories; none of the GP practice staff or GP practice names referred to are real. In many cases the stories do not refer to one individual’s story, but to a pattern that the researchers have observed in several situations. This particular story focuses on individual learning then being shared with colleagues.

Connecting the designers and the users – Stories about healthcare workplace learning – help seeking


This video is an example of how Layers is using technology to share initial reports from the fieldwork with the developers and researchers in the design teams. Leeds is undertaking explorative studies with 3 GP practices in the UK, spending time with their staff to understand how they currently learn at work. These videos were made to share early stories and observations from the fieldwork with the Layers developers/researchers to help them to get a richer feel for the healthcare working and learning context. Pseudonyms have been used in these stories; none of the GP practice staff or GP practice names referred to are real. In many cases the stories do not refer to one individual’s story, but to a pattern that the researchers have observed in several situations. This particular story focuses on help seeking beyond your own practice/organisation.