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Reframing the development of corporate learning

Author(s): Meredith Godat | Brian Atkin

Journal: Engineering Education
ISSN 1750-0044

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 2;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: corporate learning | work-based learning | industrial partnerships

Corporate learning programmes are experiencing a resurgence of interest arising from recognition by industry that partnerships with universities can lead to more effective knowledge and skills acquisition and deployment. Rethinking of corporations’ approaches to what has traditionally been classed as training has resulted in a new focus on learning and the adoption of philosophies that underlie the academic paradigm.The paper reports on the results of two case studies of collaboration between major international engineering corporations and an Australian university aimed at workforce up-skilling in response to changing markets. The purpose is to highlight the differences between the models of learning adopted in such collaboration and those in more conventional, university-based environments. The learning programmes combine the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate) development and workplace learning models. Adaptations that have added value for the industry partners are discussed with recommendations as to how these can be evolved to cope with change.The learning is contextualised by industry-based subject matter experts working in close collaboration with university experts and learning designers to develop programmes that are reflective of current and future needs in the organisation. Results derived from user feedback indicate that the learning programmes are aligned to the needs of the industry partners, whilst upholding academic ideals. In other words, it is possible to combine academic and more traditional approaches to develop corporate learning programmes that satisfy requirements in the workplace. A new conceptual framework for the development of corporate learning has emerged from the study and is presented.
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