Marja Liisa Samppala
“Developing workplace learning, increasing adult learner’s agency”.

Author: Marja Liisa Samppala, University of Helsinki.

Title: “Developing workplace learning, increasing adult learner’s agency”

The main aim of my research is to develop workplace learning from the perspective of adult learners. I am focusing on their conceptions of workplace learning, because I want to raise the voice of students’ themselves, and thereby increase their agency. The theoretical background of my research is based upon the socio-cultural approach. My research is a qualitative case study which also includes features of action research. The qualitative data is collected in three phases, which consist of interviews focusing on the experienced critical incidents on the workplace, workplace learning experiences and learning studio work. The first phase will focus on experts’ (teachers’ and workplace supervisors’) conceptions of workplace learning. The second phase emphasizes students’ conceptions of learning at work. The previous phases will be analysed with phenomenographic content analysis. The analysis focuses on the various ways people experience a phenomenon, with the aim of presenting both horizontal and vertical relationships. The final stage will focus on improving workplace learning through learning studio work which involves students, and workplace learning experts developing their activities in a joint manner. The results of this study will deepen our understanding about the phenomenon of workplace learning and they can be used developing learning practices, which are relevant to adult students’ well-being and success of study. The results will also give practice-based examples how to cross the boundaries between working life and vocational education as well as how to develop individual learners’ agency in the framework of lifelong learning.

The DARE Collaborative is a research partnership focused on the digital arts in education, led by the UCL Institute of Education and the British Film Institute. It has a membership of university researchers, teachers and educators in cultural organisations with an interest in arts, media, culture and new literacies in the context of education and digital media.
Centro en Investigación Avanzada en Educación