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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2022

Lee Fergusson, Luke van der Laan, Sophia Imran and Patrick Alan Danaher

To explore the conceptualisation and operationalisation of authentic assessment in work-based learning and research.

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the conceptualisation and operationalisation of authentic assessment in work-based learning and research.

Design/methodology/approach

The relationship between authentic assessment and work-based learning and research is examined using a postgraduate degree program at a regional university in Australia as a case example to identify unique pedagogical features of work-based learning as they are linked to assessment.

Findings

A dynamic is created between formative and summative authentic assessment practices and the cross-current nature of learning in work and research, leading to a range of lifelong learning outcomes. A framework for such a dynamic is presented.

Originality/value

The pedagogy informing work-based learning emphasises developing higher-order thinking through reflective practice, developing competencies and capabilities associated with professional practice and developing academic writing and research skills to enhance professional identity at the postgraduate level for mid- to senior-career professionals. However, the relationship of authentic assessment to work-based learning and research has not been explicated in the literature and its application in post-COVID work environments has yet to be fully examined.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Lee Fergusson, Bradley Shallies and Gerry Meijer

The purpose of this paper is to explore the scientific nature of work-based learning (WBL) and research as operationalized in Professional Studies by examining first principles of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the scientific nature of work-based learning (WBL) and research as operationalized in Professional Studies by examining first principles of scientific inquiry.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper introduces a Professional Studies program as it has been implemented at University of Southern Queensland in Australia and examines it from the perspective of five first principles of scientific inquiry: systematic exploration and reporting, use of models, objectivity, testability and applicability. The authors do so not to privilege the meritorious qualities of science or to legitimise WBL or its example in Professional Studies by conferring on them the status of science, but to highlight their systematised approach to learning and research.

Findings

If the authors define Professional Studies to mean the systematic inquiry of work-based people, processes and phenomena, evidence affirmatively suggests that it is scientific “in nature”.

Originality/value

WBL has been well documented, but its orientation to research, particularly mixed methods (MM) research through Professional Studies, and its adherence to first principles of science have never been explored; this paper begins to uncover the value of work-based pedagogical approaches to learning and research.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 25 January 2022

Lee Fergusson

Issues around informal, non-formal and formal learning, intended and unintended learning and competencies and capabilities have been considered in work-based learning (WBL)…

6309

Abstract

Purpose

Issues around informal, non-formal and formal learning, intended and unintended learning and competencies and capabilities have been considered in work-based learning (WBL). However, demarcated modes of learning, or what can be called strategies or pedagogies of learning, associated with experience of work environments have yet to be examined. One mode of learning which has been highlighted in relation to work is reflective practice, and its centrality to learning at work has been established. But reflective practice as a core skill, and its relation to other approaches to learning and research in WBL, remains uncovered. The purpose of the present study therefore is to identify different modes of learning as they appear in the literature and to present a proto-theoretical “learning by …” model for WBL and research founded on learning by reflection.

Design/methodology/approach

Proto-theoretical modelling and qualitative descriptions of each mode of learning.

Findings

Work environments, and the higher degree WBL programmes which support them, should provide learning via every available mode of learning, thereby allowing students to find their own best orientation to learning and encourage it by any means.

Originality/value

The proto-theoretical model and 12 modes of learning applied to WBL are unique to this study. WBL provides participants of work with multiple opportunities and approaches to learn and similarly provides multiple modes through which learning can occur on the basis of knowledge and skills in reflective practice.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 31 January 2020

Lee Fergusson, Luke van der Laan, Bradley Shallies and Matthew Baird

This paper examines the relationship between work, resilience and sustainable futures for organisations and communities by considering the nature of work-related problems (WRPs…

3054

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the relationship between work, resilience and sustainable futures for organisations and communities by considering the nature of work-related problems (WRPs) and the work-based research designed to investigate them. The authors explore the axis of work environment > work-related problem > resilience > sustainable futures as it might be impacted by work-based research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper introduces two current real-world examples, one in Australia and one in Asia, of work-based research projects associated with higher education aimed at promoting resilience and sustainability, and discusses the research problems, questions, designs, methods, resilience markers and sustainability markers used by these projects.

Findings

Work-based research, when conducted rigorously using mixed methods, may contribute to increased resilience of organisations and communities and thereby seeks to promote more sustainable organisational and social futures.

Practical implications

Work-based research conducted in higher education seeks to investigate, address and solve WRP, even when such problems occur in unstable, changing, complex and messy environments.

Social implications

Resilience and sustainable futures are ambiguous and disputed terms, but if work-based research can be brought to bear on them, organisations and communities might better adapt and recover from challenging situations, thus reducing their susceptibility to shock and adversity.

Originality/value

While resilience and sustainability are commonly referred to in the research literature, their association to work, and specifically problems associated with work, have yet to be examined. This paper goes some of the way to addressing this need.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Lee Fergusson

Work-based research is the applied form of work-based learning (WBL) and has been described as the systematic and methodical process of investigating work-related “problems”. Such…

2707

Abstract

Purpose

Work-based research is the applied form of work-based learning (WBL) and has been described as the systematic and methodical process of investigating work-related “problems”. Such problems can either be associated with specific workplaces and domains of practice or may more broadly be described as practical, social or real-world in nature. However, the specific characteristics of work-related problems for organisations and society have yet to be explained, and inadequate problem definition, multiple and competing goals, and lack of agreement on cause-effect relationships have hampered understanding. The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of work-related problems and provides examples from real-world contexts in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides models and examples of standard and non-standard work-related problems based on prior research and current practice.

Findings

Research paradigms view work-related problems as either definable and solvable or ill-defined, complex, difficult to describe and not easily rectified. The former view is concerned with “high ground problems” associated with traditional research methods; the latter with “lowland, messy, confusing problems” more frequently associated with the social sciences. Irrespective of orientation and definition, work-related problems have one thing in common: they are typically messy, constantly changing and complex, and many are co-produced and wicked.

Originality/value

Despite difficulties with identifying and isolating the various types of work-related problem, the paper establishes the importance of doing so for the practitioner. The definition and examination of work-related problems contribute to an evolving formulation of WBL and its application to private organisations, government agencies and work more generally.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2019

Lee Fergusson, Luke Van Der Laan, Craig White and June Balfour

The purpose of this paper is to explore the work-based learning (WBL) ethos of a professional studies doctoral program, a higher degree by research program implemented in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the work-based learning (WBL) ethos of a professional studies doctoral program, a higher degree by research program implemented in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a preliminary case study of one higher degree by research program and two doctoral candidates participating in the program to explore the ethos and outcomes of the program.

Findings

The program has sought to develop a different type of higher education ethos, one characterized by an open-door communications policy, a critical friend philosophy, an emphasis on teamwork, pro tem supervision and a new model for doctoral supervision, self-designed work-based projects, self-directed research programs and the development of professional identity.

Originality/value

The characteristics and contributions of WBL programs at the doctoral level have been well documented in the academic literature, but the unique ethos, if there is one, of such programs has yet to be fully examined. This study goes some of the way to answering the question of whether such programs have a unique ethos and if so what are its features and how might it contribute to student development.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 June 2021

Lee Fergusson, Anna Bonshek, Sanford Nidich, Javier Ortiz Cabrejos and Randi Nidich

To examine whether quality-of-life of a home's occupants varies in northern and southern hemisphere homes when the orientation of the home is always to the eastern sun (as…

Abstract

Purpose

To examine whether quality-of-life of a home's occupants varies in northern and southern hemisphere homes when the orientation of the home is always to the eastern sun (as prescribed by Maharishi Vedic Architecture) not orientated differently in northern and southern hemispheres to maximise light (as prescribed by western and Feng Shui architecture design).

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical discussion of the use of sunlight and orientation in western, Feng Shui and Vedic approach to architecture, and then a cross-sectional quantitative survey conduced in 14 countries.

Findings

The lived experience of 158 home occupants in Maharishi Vedic Architecture did not vary from northern to southern hemispheres.

Originality/value

Research of this type has never been carried out before on Maharishi Vedic Architecture, except for one other study published in 2020 by these authors which considered the lived experience of home occupants. The amount of research on the basics of Vastu architecture is minimal.

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 February 2021

Lee Fergusson and Luke van der Laan

The association of work and learning has been well established for many years. However, some of the terms used to describe the various pedagogies related to work and learning have…

1424

Abstract

Purpose

The association of work and learning has been well established for many years. However, some of the terms used to describe the various pedagogies related to work and learning have been used interchangeably, with many lacking definitional clarity and scope. These include work-related learning (WRL), work-based learning, workplace learning (WPL) and work-integrated learning (WIL). This agglomerating approach to usage has resulted in pedagogical confusion and what some theorists call a “problematization” for the field, resulting in undermining shared understanding and potential benefit. The purpose of this conceptual paper is an attempt to unpack the meaning and application of some of the key pedagogical terms used in the applied field of work + learning theory and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Conceptual modelling and qualitative descriptions of each pedagogy.

Findings

Many of the work + learning pedagogies do overlap and cohere but attempts to create umbrella terms, which apply to all theories and approaches, are misguided; definitional clarity with the different modes of practice is required for sustainable educational outcomes.

Originality/value

A proto-theoretical model, along with a breakdown of distinguishing features of each term as well as their source in the published literature, has been developed to improve clarity and aid the future praxis of educators.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 23 June 2023

Luke van der Laan, Gail Ormsby, Lee Fergusson and Peter McIlveen

The purpose of the study was to specify the perceived outdated nature and lack of definitional clarity associated with the concept of work and further to outline that the nature…

1556

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to specify the perceived outdated nature and lack of definitional clarity associated with the concept of work and further to outline that the nature of work has dramatically changed in the 21st century, while definitions of work referenced in research remain those that were dominant in the previous century. Lastly, the study aimed to propose an updated conceptualisation and definition of work to aid future research.

Design/methodology/approach

A scoping literature review was adopted as the methodology guiding the study. A scoping review is particularly suited to identifying the conceptual boundaries on a given multi-disciplinary topic and is used to map the key concepts underpinning a research area as well as to clarify working definitions.

Findings

Nine main themes underpinning the concept of work were extracted from the extant literature. These were assimilated with contemporary literature across multiple disciplines. Contexts of work as they relate to dimensions of work and workspace are developed and visualised. A proposed contemporary definition of work is presented.

Research limitations/implications

The aim of the study was to address the problem with current and future research continuing to refer to traditional conceptualisations of work, while the nature of work has dramatically changed. The findings are preliminary and intended to stimulate further discourse towards a greater consensus of a definition. The implications of proposing an updated definition of work is that it is intended to better inform future research reflective of its multi-disciplinary and significantly changed nature.

Practical implications

The implications to practice are the main impetus of this study. The authors found that research associated with work was being confounded by traditional and outdated interpretations, excluding alternative forms of work or not recognising its multi-dimensionality. It is proposed by the paper that an updated conceptualisation of the nature of work in this era, as it is reflected across disciplines and practice, would positively contribute to the understanding, management and conceptualisation of work in practice.

Originality/value

A systematic literature review across disciplines of the definition of work will reveal the outdated nature and disparate interpretation of the concept of work. An inclusive, multi-disciplinary and contemporary definition of work has not been suggested. This scoping review was conducted to address this problem and gap in the literature. Further, this paper presents a multi-dimensional and spatial conceptualisation of work that is proposed to better inform future research and practice associated with work.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 22 April 2020

Tony Wall

387

Abstract

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

1 – 10 of 145