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ERIC Number: EJ828537
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1359-6748
Can Work-Based Learning Add to the Research Inventory of Higher Education? The Case of Collaborative Research
Portwood, Derek
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, v12 n3 p279-290 Oct 2007
Work-based learning's preoccupation with developing award-bearing programmes has affected the scope and style of work-based research. While offering development opportunities for work-based research, the emphasis of work-based learning programmes on the individual learner has curtailed the use of collaborative research. This article explores how an examination of workplace practices concerning collaboration (notably, the role of teams) could further the research enterprise within work-based learning and add to the research inventory of higher education within its qualifications' framework. The article explores the ideological, epistemological and practical problems this poses and focuses on assessment issues. It concludes that necessary changes in policy may well involve government initiative. Work-based research, as a subject in its own right, is a late arrival on the work-based learning (WBL) scene in higher education. This is not a surprise because in order to gain entry and secure a place in higher education, WBL had to prove its ability and value in recruiting students. Its priority, therefore, was to create and deliver its own award-bearing programme within institutional regulatory and quality assurance frameworks. Work-based research, accordingly, was subsumed within pedagogical, curricular and assessment preoccupations. Obviously, the perspectives and practices involved in these developments affect conceptions and uses of work-based research, but unavoidably conditioned its scope to programmatic interests. Even so, this has meant that existing research approaches and uses have been refined, and this article examines these developments. Recognising, however, that there is a reciprocal relationship between work-based research and WBL, the article is concerned with undeveloped areas of WBL and work-based research that, if developed, could affect them both and, in particular, enable WBL to extend the research inventory of higher education. Noting that collaboration is a key feature of workplace activity, the article singles out collaborative research as the case to be studied. Hence, the article first explores the effects on work-based research of the early insights gained by WBL through its involvement in workplaces. Reversing that process, it then examines the contribution work-based research has made to WBL understanding and practices. Following on the theme of learning lessons from workplace involvement, it then raises the issue of collaboration, asking if this could extend our understanding and practice of work-based research as well as the perspectives and practices of WBL itself. It concludes with some observations on its implications of introducing collaborative research for local and national policy directions and decisions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A