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Work‐based learning – it's primary feedback that matters

Ian Cunningham (Based at Brighton, UK.)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 23 August 2011




This paper aims to expose errors in thinking about work based learning; specifically the misconception about primary and secondary feedback.


The paper draws on significant literature as well as the author's experience.


The paper shows that much work‐based learning is based on faulty thinking about the nature of learning. It shows that much so‐called feedback is unhelpful to learning. It also shows that satisfaction in learning is importantly best based on intrinsic motivation.

Research limitations/implications

The paper draws on the research of others.

Practical implications

There are important implications for all who work in organizations as the paper shows that learning can be greatly improved when there is a greater focus on primary feedback and on direct practice.

Social implications

The paper raises wider implications for educational practice and exposes how young people are inhibited in their learning by bad practice amongst teachers.


This is a totally original paper that raises matters never before discussed in this way. It integrates the work of other authors with live practice.



Cunningham, I. (2011), "Work‐based learning – it's primary feedback that matters", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 5-7.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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