Learning Design Toolkit

Learning processes in VET learning and teaching


In VET we engage learners in a range of types of activity; different ways of learning, of knowledge creation.
In this toolkit we refer to these types of activities as LEARNING PROCESSES.
As learning designers and teachers you dip in and out of these distinct processes depending upon your philosophy, the learners, the nature of the course/topic and the desired outcomes.
The following model (adapted from the work of Kalantzis, Cope et al) can be used to prompt and guide your design. You are encouraged to use the model to reflect on your current approaches and to consider ways in which your programs could be enriched or expanded.

Each knowledge process is explained below and will be explored in detail with hints and tips, exemplars and resources to support your designs for differing contexts and learners.


Conceptualising, theorising and generalising

We learn by developing core concepts, theoretical (and often historical) underpinnings and an understanding of the language/terminology used by that field of study.
Typically we do this by reading or listening to people with expertise.
As a result of this exposure we are able to classify, categorise and generalise by transferring core knowledge to new instances/contexts/examples.

In VET practice this is often explicitly combined with 'Experiencing' processes but in all learning continues throughout all learning processes and extends as our own 'expertise' develops.
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We learn through exposure to actual examples and demonstrations.
We see, hear, touch and compare a range of real-life or simulated examples and models.
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Applying and adapting

We learn through:
  • practicing to achieve accuracy
  • adapting and redesigning what we know to address real world problems
This is often referred to as 'situated learning'
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Communicating and collaborating

We learn by communicating and collaborating with others.
  • seek clarification to ensure our core/underpinning knowledge is accurate
  • seek feedback to further develop our skills
  • interact with peers to collaboratively grow our knowledge through shared interpretations and experience
  • clarify skills and knowledge by supporting and instructing others
  • adapt and innovate through shared ideas
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Analysing and critiquing

We learn through critical analysis and self-reflection.
This includes:
  • considering cause and effect
  • taking considered risks and learning from the outcomes
  • evaluating, inferring and deducing
  • reasoning
  • acknowledging and considering disparate viewpoints and beliefs
  • comparing and analysing motives and perspectives
  • aligning/positioning our approaches/actions to philosophical positions
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