The paper aims to argue that new tools are needed for operating, developing and learning in work‐life networks where academic and practice knowledge are intertwined in multiple levels of and in boundary‐crossing across activities. At best, tools for learning are designed in a process of co‐configuration, as the analysis of one tool, Development Radar, aims to demonstrate.
The “Development Radar” narrative offers a way to analyse what co‐configuration might mean in the development practices of the learning network. The data consist of the researchers' and participants' tool‐related actions in planning and running a workshop of the Forum of Workplace Development, for which Development Radar was created. Analysis draws from cultural‐historical activity theory by including cultural sources of knowledge beyond the immediate pedagogic interaction.
Metaphors seem to be facilitative in the early phase of co‐configuration of a tool but not enough for sustainable workplace learning. What is needed is opening up the core concepts for all parties involved and providing ongoing negotiations and elaboration concerning their potential and meaning.
Expansive learning is supported by co‐configuration of tools that simultaneously provide a generic orientation basis of learning and are open to contextual knowledge creation in and across the levels of developmental activities.
The visual co‐configuration of tools may be crucial for understanding learning, development and the implementation of tools in a specific context, and even have an effect on the professional identity of users.
The significance of tools for the quality of workplace learning is generally acknowledged but the investigation into the pedagogical dynamics and material co‐configuration of tools needs more attention.
Toiviainen, H., Kerosuo, H. and Syrjälä, T. (2009), "“Development Radar”: the co‐configuration of a tool in a learning network", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 509-524. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665620910985513Download as .RIS
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