Web-based in-service training requires new skills

Sep 28, 2009
Web-based in-service training requires new skills
This is Mona Nilsen of University of Gothenburg. Credit: University of Gothenburg

Mona Nilsen from the Department of Education and Didactics, University of Gothenburg, has analysed continued professional development within the food production industry, a sector with a generally low level of education that is experiencing a great deal of change. In particular, new methods for handling foodstuffs and procedures for quality assurance must be introduced in a great number of workplaces.

Mona Nilsen has analysed how chat tools, one of several channels of communication in the web-based environment, have been used for communication and discussions between course participants on ten different in-service training courses "Chat tools are one option for industries where continued professional development has traditionally been difficult to effect. The food production industry is characterised by geographically dispersed small and medium-sized companies. Rarely is it economically feasible in this industry for staff to be absent from production for lengthy periods in order to attend professional development courses. Instead, they have the opportunity for distance learning, from their own ," says Mona Nilsen.

The material on which the study is based comprises chat log files, which are printouts of course participants' discussions.

"What interests me the most is how the course participants initiate discussions with one another via digital technologies and the skills required for learning in web-based contexts. I'm not just looking at how they accommodate to the chat technology, but also what they kind of discussions they establish - the actual content."

The thesis discusses how these course participants' discussions are hybrid contexts for learning.

"The discussions are hybrid in the sense that they take their starting point both in more formalized training and in the course participants' everyday work experiences. Links to work and work challenges are often something that training strives to establish, although sometimes if not most of the time difficult to achieve. In my studies, the discussions are described as productive because of the experiences that participants share from actual and specific production work," says Mona Nilsen.

"Another component for these discussions to be productive is that the contents discussed are prerequisites for participants' continued employment, something is at stake for the participants. In this case, course participants will be responsible for quality work at their respective workplaces once they have finished the course."

In her study, Mona Nilsen addresses the issue of how course participants engaged in in-service training learn, and must learn, to discuss content from various standpoints, for example, food technicians, consumers, industry representatives, students, and people in positions of authority.

Source: University of Gothenburg (news : web)

Explore further: Engineers develop gift guide for parents

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Doctors bone up on orthopaedics through wiki project

Sep 29, 2008

Web-based academic discussions could well be the way forward for cost-effective and tailored continuing education for health professionals. China's interactive Orthochina.org wiki project for orthopaedic surgeons is an example ...

IBM Ranked World's Leading IT Training Provider

Aug 16, 2004

IBM today announced that analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC) has recognized IBM as the industry leader in IT training for the second year in a row. The report, "The Worldwide Top 15 IT Training Providers, 2 ...

Recommended for you

Engineers develop gift guide for parents

Nov 21, 2014

Faculty and staff in Purdue University's College of Engineering have come up with a holiday gift guide that can help engage children in engineering concepts.

Former Brown dean whose group won Nobel Prize dies

Nov 20, 2014

David Greer, a doctor who co-founded a group that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for working to prevent nuclear war and who helped transform the medical school at Brown University, has died. He was 89.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.