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Breaking the Boundaries between Academic Degrees and Lifelong Learning Designing demand-driven lifelong learning processes for employees

Thomas Thijssen
The Netherlands
Fons Vernooij
The Netherlands

Many educational institutions and their staff struggle with the issue of capturing the market of lifelong learning, whilst continuing to offer traditional courses. Whereas traditional courses are more or less fixed in curricula and cover certain topics in a planned period of time; lifelong learning requires agreements between teachers and students on specific topics related to competencies previously acquired. Students with working experiences are mostly skilled in self-regulated learning processes, which education has to benefit from. Yet many post-academic courses are built around the same educational processes as the regular academic courses for those between the ages of 17 and 25. Those courses are supply driven and not demand driven, and they are separated from the working context. They offer more general modules, which by definition are not relevant for the individual student. Moreover, the costs of these traditional forms of education are high, both in time and money. This paper explores the design problems and generates the outline of a transformation framework to build lifelong learning processes in a demand-driven way. The framework includes relevant components for students to regulate their own learning processes and ensure they are integrated in their work processes. The student, the coach, and the assessor can continuously monitor the desired learning outcomes, by using assessment tools. Tools for mass-customization and automation (collaborative technologies) make it possible to support large numbers of students in their learning processes. This will be demonstrated by experiences from the Netherlands at the Johan Cruyff University, the Center for Post initial (Adult) Education (CPE) and the Network University, all three vested in Amsterdam.

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Reference:Thijssen, T., Vernooij, F.T.J. (2004). "Breaking the Boundaries between Academic Degrees and Lifelong Learning Designing demand-driven lifelong learning processes for employees," University of Amsterdam, Netherlands . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 4(16). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/4-16
Keywords:educational design, didactics, lifelong learning, innovation, collaborative technologies, assessment tools, personal development, demand driven
Item Type:Article - Volume 4 Article 16 (2004)
Email: Thomas Thijssen (Hamint@wxs.nl)
Fons Vernooij (mail@fons-vernooij.nl)

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