Riding tandem: an organic and collaborative approach to research in vocational education and training

Cathy Ellis, Alec Dyer, Dominic Thompson


This study set out to explore the use of the Internet in peer-to-peer learning environments within vocational education and training and to investigate whether this approach could replace traditional teaching and learning. A mixed methods design, including classroom observations, design experiments, interviews and questionnaires was adopted. Although this study represents a mid-term report on work in progress only, a number of observations can nevertheless be made about the process of conducting research within Further Education (FE) colleges. Whilst, traditionally, the pursuit of research is not a priority within FE colleges, this study has encouraged lecturers in Highbury College, Portsmouth, United Kingdom to trial a research-based approach to curriculum development. They have worked as co-researchers in the study from the conceptual phase to implementation. This paper outlines the process of conducting research in partnership with Business lecturers at Highbury College. It presents preliminary findings based on the researcher and lecturers’ reflections on the research methodology and process followed over a period of 9 months.

Keywords: Emergent learning; FE Colleges; SOLE; vocational education and training

(Published: 28 August 2014)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2014, 22: 24614 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v22.24614


FE Colleges; SOLE; Information and Learning Technology; skills

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