Learning the discourse of quality assurance: a case of workplace learning in online in-service training.
Journal article, 2016
Purpose – In this study, online in-service training for people employed in the food production industry
is scrutinized. The purpose of this study is to analyse how the participants adapt to such online
environments in terms of the kind of discussions they establish. The more specific interest relates to
how the participants discuss current work experiences in relation to the contents of quality assurance
they are expected to learn.
Design/methodology/approach – The data analyzed are Web discussions in forms of chat log files
from ten courses.
Findings – The results show that, on the one hand, general principles have to be substantiated in the
form of concrete examples to actually function as principles and, on the other hand, concrete examples
are made interesting only if they have a bearing on a more general issue. Another interesting finding is
that the course participants gradually take over the vocabulary of quality assurance; they more
frequently write about their work in terms of, e.g. criteria, relevance, estimations and hazards. The
conclusion is that Web discussions as part of in-service training constitute a new arena for reflection in
and on practice.
Originality/value – This is interesting to explore, as it is designed to meet the needs of employers and
employees to learn the new set of rules and procedures, which regulate the European food industry. In
this respect, the training activities are of direct relevance to daily work practices. Simultaneously, online
environments seem to offer flexibility and thus constitute a solution for training in a dispersed industry