Developing work based personal learning environments in small and medium enterprises
This paper is based on a literature review and interviews with employers and trainers in the north German building and construction trades. The work was undertaken in preparing a project application, Learning Layers, for the European Research Programme. The paper looks at the development of High Performance Work Systems to support innovation in Small and Medium enterprises. It discusses the potential of Personal Learning environments to support informal and work based learning. The paper goes on to look at the characteristics and organisation of the building and construction industry and at education and training in the sector. It outlines an approach to developing the use of PLEs based on a series of layers to support informal interactions with people across enterprises, supports creation, maturing and interaction with learning materials as boundary objects and a layer that situates and scaffolds learning support into the physical workplace and captures people’s interactions with physical artefacts inviting them to share their experiences.