Connecting Classroom and Workplace Learning

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Peters, S., Clarebout, G., Van Nuland, M., Aertgeerts, B. and Roex, A. (2017), How to connect classroom and workplace learning. Clin Teach, 14: 313–318. doi:10.1111/tct.12697

Synopsis

This article discussed the transition of medical professionals from being a student to entering the workforce. The authors made six recommendations from their own experiences as clinical educators, as well as literature on the topic. While the article was geared toward medical professionals, I thought there was still some useful and interesting information that I could relate to from when I first entered the workforce after graduating college.

The authors stated that connecting classroom learning to workplace practice is not easy for students and needs to be supported. They concluded that teachers can help support students by agreeing on responsibilities for enabling the transfer of learning, demonstrating how to apply classroom-based competencies to professional practice, prompting students to apply learned competencies to practice, providing feedback on students’ performance; and discussing possible differences between classroom learning and its workplace application.

Strengths

The structure of this article was very clean and the use of graphics and tables made the information presented easy to read. The authors laid out each of their recommendations with a heading and clearly explained them, as well as provided an example for each. I found their approach to supporting professional learning more effective when comparing it to the approach of the MOOC in the first article.

Critique

It would have been interesting to see more data to back up the authors’ recommendations. Even a survey, such as that in the first article, asking new students about their experience entering the workforce would have been helpful. A diagram showing who is responsible for what was recommended for students and clinical teachers to fill out (during an internship), but It made me wonder where most conceptions fell.

Best uses

When I first went into my career after graduating college I felt like everything was completely different in the workplace than what I had learned in the classroom. I think too much time was spent on lecturing and quizzing rather than actually practicing for the real world. Discussing how to apply classroom-based learning to the workplace would have been beneficial. I also found one graphic they shared interesting because it summed up the author’s recommendations nicely and show their recommendations as a continuous loop.

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