FACILICODE (Facilitated Work Based Learning)
Dissipation of the FWBL methodology to innovative continuing professional development
Facilitated Work Based Learning
A methodology for transfer of knowledge to SMEs was developed and tes¬ted in an earlier Leonardo da Vinci pilot project (CEE as WBL 2003-DK/03/B/F/PP-145311). The metho¬dology of Facilitated Work Based Learning very well targets the success factors for learning in the workplace that Ellström and Høyrup identify in their recent report to the Nordic Council (Ellström and Høyrup 2007). The FWBL model has been dissemi¬nated at several conferences and workshops, always with great interest from both SMEs and educational institutions. This significant interest in the FWBL methodology is the core basis for this current project under ‘Transfer of Innovation’ – essentially, to test the methodology in different contexts and cultures.
FWBL can be described as a lifelong learning method based on a partnership between educational institutions and enterprises with the purpose of knowledge transfer as an integral part of everyday work. Teaching staff facilitate learning processes and competence development among employees as an integrated part of their problem-oriented professional work.
Together the enterprise, the educational institution and the employees define the competence needs and learning objectives on the basis of the competence strategy for the enterprise, but at the same time the learning course is tailored to the individual employee or to a team of employees. The learning process is supervised or facilitated by academic teaching staff from the educational institution and the learning process is based on the learning team’s professional tasks.
The process of FWBL does not follow a rigid scheme such as a standard five-day course. The FWBL course will normally run for more than half a year and often longer depending on the extent and depth of the learning objectives and the timeframe of the project in which the FWBL is incorporated. The FWBL course will be less intensive, and the learning will be integrated directly in the employees’ work tasks. FWBL can be described in five continuing phases. However the content of each phase is not unambiguous for all FWBL courses as the distinc¬tive marks of FWBL are precisely their individualities. The five phases of FWBL are as follows:
- 1. contact phase
- 2. specifying learning objectives
- 3. preparing the learning contract, including RPL
- 4. implementation of FWBL
- 5. evaluation.
The five phases of FWBL are described in ‘The Methodology of Facilitated Work Based Learning’ (Fink and Nørgaard 2006). This article takes the reader through the five phases of FWBL and provides discussion on the more challenging areas of the methodology, such as preparing the learning contact as a flexible tool and how to define and specify learning objectives. Guidelines on how to specify learning objectives are studied in ‘Defining and Specifying Competence Needs in Tailor-Made Continuing Education’ (Nørgaard 2009).