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Scaling informal learning at the workplace: A model and four designs from a large-scale design-based research effort

Ley, Tobias; Cook, John; Dennerlein, Sebastian; Kravcik, Milos; Kunzmann, Christine; Pata, Kai; Purma, Jukka; Sandars, John; Santos, Patricia; Schmidt, Andreas; Al-Smadi, Mohammad; Trattner, Christoph


Tobias Ley

Sebastian Dennerlein

Milos Kravcik

Christine Kunzmann

Kai Pata

Jukka Purma

John Sandars

Patricia Santos

Andreas Schmidt

Mohammad Al-Smadi

Christoph Trattner


© 2014 British Educational Research Association. Workplace learning happens in the process and context of work, is multi-episodic, often informal, problem based and takes place on a just-in-time basis. While this is a very effective means of delivery, it also does not scale very well beyond the immediate context. We review three types of technologies that have been suggested to scale learning and three connected theoretical discourses around learning and its support. Based on these three strands and an in-depth contextual inquiry into two workplace learning domains, health care and building and construction, four design-based research projects were conducted that have given rise to designs for scaling informal learning with technology. The insights gained from the design and contextual inquiry contributed to a model that provides an integrative view on three informal learning processes at work and how they can be supported with technology: (1) task performance, reflection and sensemaking; (2) help seeking, guidance and support; and (3) emergence and maturing of collective knowledge. The model fosters our understanding of how informal learning can be scaled and how an orchestrated set of technologies can support this process.


Ley, T., Cook, J., Dennerlein, S., Kravcik, M., Kunzmann, C., Pata, K., …Trattner, C. (2014). Scaling informal learning at the workplace: A model and four designs from a large-scale design-based research effort. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(6), 1036-1048.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2014
Deposit Date Aug 13, 2015
Journal British Journal of Educational Technology
Print ISSN 0007-1013
Electronic ISSN 1467-8535
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 6
Pages 1036-1048
Keywords informal learning, workplace learning
Public URL
Publisher URL