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  • 1.
    Algers, Anne
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Skara, Sweden.
    Lindström, Berner
    University of Gothenburg Gothenburg Sweden.
    Svensson, Lars
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Work-based learning through negotiated projects: Exploring learning at the boundary2016In: Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning, ISSN 2042-3896, E-ISSN 2042-390X, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 2-19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    More collaborative and open learning models are suggested as part of the paradigm shift in the way knowledge is produced, distributed and used. This paper aims to explore a work-based learning model, based on systemic negotiations between actors from the three parties: The academy, the industry and the students. The purpose is to investigate how teachers, supervisors and students value negotiated work-based learning as a boundary activity and to enhance the understanding of the learning potential at the boundary.

    Design/methodology/approach

    Activity theory is used as a lens to analyse the results from a survey to the three stakeholder groups and interviews of students. The four learning mechanisms are used to explore learning at the boundary between the two activity systems.

    Findings

    Diversity and mobility in education and work addressed by the notion of boundary crossing are associated with both challenges and a learning potential. There is a constant dynamic between structure and agency, where structure, the negotiated model, influence the individual agency. When gradually removing scaffolding students can as boundary crossers engage behaviourally, emotionally, and cognitively and have agency to handle contradictions at a local level. However, they did not seem to prioritize both systems equally but instead they were gradually socialised into the activity system of the industry.

    Originality/value

    When work-based learning is framed by a negotiated partnership it can manage and customize inherent conflicts of interest and enhance individual learning opportunities at the boundary and can be conceptualized as an open learning practice.

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