Burton (2004: 193) puts forward a generally accepted definition of work-based learning, namely "learning which occurs at, for and from work". He continues to caution that not everyone learns from the experiential opportunities that they are exposed to and that attendance should not be mistaken or equated to learning. Some fail to learn and others may learn ineffectively or even may learn professional inappropriate matters.
Work-based learning must be contemporary and should occur within a structured context. Fraser (in Burton, 2004: 194) asserts that "activity is easy but conscious learning activity requires more effort". Fraser identified three features found in successful work-based learners, namely:
- personal goals of learners are aligned by negotiation to the host organisation's goals (synergy)
- their is constant engagement in real-time and critical review and feedback
- they help other grow with them
Burton raise the question if work-based learning is so vigorously promoted that the "common or garden work based learning, which happen daily at work, would become undervalued and forgotten?" (p. 195) He conclude that we need to help people sustain their capacity to learn for, from and at work.
Burton, J. 2004. Work based learning in health and social care: innovations and applications, Middlesex University, 25 February 2004. Work Based Learning in Primary Care, 2004(2), 193-195.