In the case discussed in this chapter, involving the training of electrician apprentices at a Danish vocational college, many of the apprentices have difficulties understanding how the two modes of learning, i.e. formal learning at the college and the more informal learning through the in-service training, relate to one another. This chapter is an account of an experiment in designing for net-based vocational learning with the aim of providing a coupling between widely different learning contexts. The actual design process used is based on a recently developed method for user-driven innovation, the “quadrant model”, involving apprentices, teachers and masters and journeymen from companies as active and equal cocreators of new pedagogical designs. The final outcome has been three designs for networked learning. They facilitate communication between apprentice and apprentice, college and apprentice and apprentice and master/journeyman. From the perspective of the apprentices, the three designs (a) facilitate community building, (b) help bring the college into the practice environment and (c) encourage reflection on one’s own practice. The designs lead to the potential empowerment of the apprentices; thus the successful integration of the designs entails a need for adjusting existing practices in terms of assigning the learners a more active and responsible role as co-contributors to their own education.
Design, Experience and Practice of Networked Learning, 2014, p. 51-65