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ERIC Number: ED563567
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 196
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-5691-3
Understanding the Construction of Personal Learning Networks to Support Non-Formal Workplace Learning of Training Professionals
Manning, Christin
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Lesley University
Workers in the 21st century workplace are faced with rapid and constant developments that place a heavy demand on them to continually learn beyond what the Human Resources and Training groups can meet. As a consequence, professionals must rely on non-formal learning approaches through the development of a personal learning network to keep up-to-date. This phenomenological study used an explanatory mixed methods approach to examine the lived experiences of how training professionals construct their personal learning networks to support their continuous learning in the workplace. Results from this study indicate that participants have integrated non-formal learning into their work stream with a majority spending between one to three hours per week. The study found that there were two primary reasons for continuous learning: keeping up with industry trends and project-focused. For ongoing learning, participants used a push of learning using automated emails as their primary aggregator. These emails provide an overview of industry trends as well as a starting point for more focused additional learning. For project-oriented learning, participants use a pull of learning using Google as their starting point. Connecting to their people network for learning support was secondary. The ability to validate expert contributions is critical to 21st century learning and the study participants described using a trust but verify approach relying initially on name recognition and their connections. Some significant differences in personal learning network construction were found based on gender, age, experience, and education. Examining how training professionals use various approaches for their own non-formal learning serves to provide guidance to both individual and organizational learning strategies that will leverage limited resources and organizational expertise while meeting the rapid and constant changes of the 21st century worker. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A