Just like Workplace Learning (WPL) itself, enhancing it through mobile technology needs thoughtful planning, implementation and evaluation. The Mobile Technology Capacity-Building Framework aims to enhance students’ WPL experiences and, ultimately, increase their agency (capacity to learn and act appropriately) while on placement. It has been designed to help students, academic teachers and workplace educators (WPEs) achieve a shared understanding of how students can best use their personal mobile devices for WPL and make sense of the entangled relationships between learning, technology and work.
The framework consists of a set of resources designed to solve recurring pedagogical problems. These resources critically discuss the main issues and opportunities of using personal mobile devices for learning in workplaces. They seek to inspire, enable and act as carriers of improved practice, teaching skills and technology-mediated learning for academic teachers, WPEs and students.
This Mobile Technology Capacity Building Framework for WPL has been developed to help teachers create their own resources relevant to their specific needs and to stimulate innovation. Therefore the framework is neither prescriptive, nor focused on application development, nor only focused on developing digital literacy and it is not discipline-specific.
Five dimensions of student agency
The red outer ring of the framework represents the five dimensions of student agency. These dimensions are the learning phases, or processes, required to develop students’ capacity to learn and act appropriately in WPL. They are:
- Awareness raising
- Purposeful planning
These phases are aligned with different levels of interactive online capabilities and several learning and teaching theories: experiential learning theory, reflective and practice learning, and educating the deliberate professional.
Seven teaching resources
The blue middle ring of the framework represents the seven teaching resources. These resources address seven themes that need to be considered when using mobile technology in WPL. The themes and teaching resources are:
- Planning learning experiences
- Using personal mobile devices professionally and safely
- Initiating dialogue
- Establishing networking activities
- Creating learning activities on the go
- Deepening reflection
- Considering issues of time and place
Each resource consists of two academic components: a thematic discussion and accompanying pedagogical artefacts. The thematic discussion is a narrative that includes a problem statement, contextualising examples, references and pedagogical principles to provide a deeper understanding of the area of concern. These narratives are intended to be used as a trigger for academics to start discussions about how to customise the accompanying artefact for their specific contexts. The associated pedagogical artefacts comprise practical examples of repurposable tasks designed to help academics translate the thematic discussions and examples into resources relevant to their own practice and discipline. They have mostly been designed for academics but can also be used with colleagues (educational designers, information technology experts, WPEs involved in the preparation of WPL) to help them fine-tune the artefacts and the guidance that students will need.
One student resource
At the centre of the framework is the GPS for WPL specifically designed to help students navigate the WPL landscape. Through bite-size information, tasks and further readings, it helps student consider issues relevant to the seven themes.
 Trede, F. & McEwen, C. (2016). Carving out the territory for educating the deliberate professional. In F. Trede & McEwen, C. (Eds.) Educating the deliberate professional: Preparing for future practices, Dodrecht: Springer.