Saturday, 21 April 2007

Work-based Learning Futures

I had the great pleasure to attend the WBL-futures conference in Buxton last Thursday and Friday. I found the experience to be incredibly refreshing. The conference was relatively small, but with a very high level of quality amongst visitors. 63% of attendees actually also presented a paper, as did I, and so most guest had a lot to bring to the discussion. I also found the atmosphere to be incredibly constructive and innovative, and it made me wonder where true innovation in education is really taking place. Sure, technology is a wonderful enabler for many pedagogical development, but I couldn't help but think that the true innovators were to be found in this domain of work based learning. While I, and many of my colleagues in e-learning, are still debating personal learning spaces and social networks, here these concepts have been applied for many years, either with or without the help of technology. And many of the underlying pedagogy of applied personal negotiated learning is something I think will spread out across HE in the next few years. We will have to grow into our roles as coaches and assessors, and let go of the idea that there is a future in being an expert, a lecturer. For those keen to take some steps on this path, have a look at the abstracts. Most of these are discussion documents, a more concise publication is being prepared to be published in October.

I will try and collect and upload some of the presentations and such (including ours) as soon as possible... watch this space!

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