Reports and discusses the findings of an investigation that examined the efficacy of guided learning in the workplace. The investigation comprised the trialing of guided learning strategies and an analysis of the learning occurring in five workplaces over a period of six months. The guided learning strategies selected for investigation were questioning dialogues, the use of diagrams and analogies within an approach to workplace learning emphasising modelling and coaching. Throughout the investigation, critical incident interviews were conducted to identify the contributions to learning that had occurred during these periods, including those provided by the guided learning. As anticipated, it was found that participation in everyday work activities (the learning curriculum) was most valued and reported as making effective contributions to learning in the workplace. However, there was also correlation between reports of the frequency of guided learning interactions and their efficacy in resolving novel workplace tasks, and therefore learning. It is postulated that some of these learning outcomes could not have been secured by everyday participation in the workplace alone. Further, factors associated with the readiness of enterprise and those within it were identified as influencing the likely effectiveness of guided learning at work.
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