Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Workplace Learning, Volume 20, Issue 3.
Editing a Journal is a bit like solving a puzzle, or a small-scale practical example of the effects the complexity theorists are studying. In order to have one issue ready, there must be a certain amount of accepted articles, as well as biographic information and the required copyright releases and so on. This makes compiling a thematic issue a bit problematic; when one has some interesting, thematically coherent papers and sends them for review, some of them get revised earlier and some later, some are basically ready but lack the copyright release form, and so on. Then it may be that on the copy deadline date the Editors have in their hands enough refereed articles for two issues but not enough material on a coherent theme for one thematic issue.
This has been our fate this issue. When we simultaneously received four articles that seemed to illustrate the current thinking of utilizing e-learning methods in the workplace, we had thought of making Volume 20 Issue 3 a thematic e-learning issue. But now only three of these articles have passed review, and we do not have enough articles ready either to postpone the thematic issue or take four or five other papers in here. Yes, the best laid plans of mice and men.
However, it seems that there are not many practical examples of socially situated e-learning found in the literature, so we feel it is high time we publish what we have in the field. In this issue we thus have half an e-learning issue. The two e-learning articles are both from Finland (it seems there is a curious Scandinavian “overemphasis” in workplace learning research; it was also visible in the recent RWL conference in Stellenbosch, South Africa with about one third of the delegates from the three Scandinavian countries and Finland). First, we have an article by Kirsti Hulkari and Seija Mahlamäki-Kultanen on how web discussion comments can be used in analysing depth and type of learning in nursing students’ workplace practice. In the second article, Virpi Slotte and Anne Herbert illustrate how it is possible to coach learners using on-line simulation-based training and what benefits such arrangements may provide.
The e-learning pieces are completed with a study by Andreas Gill, Henrik Kock and Per-Erik Ellström on the driving forces of small companies to participate in competence development, based on data from an EU-funded competence development programme, and an interesting situated social learning piece by Gustavo Guzman, on what are the specific features of workplace learning in hostile work environments Finally, as is the custom in Journal of Workplace Learning, there is a separate section of Professional Practice edited and, on this occasion, co-written by Richard Dealtry with Keith Howard.
We hope you enjoy reading and that the articles again motivate you to go out yourself and study more workplace learning.
Tauno Kekäle, Sara Cervai