The term workplace learning usually refers to the processes of learning through and for engaging in paid employment: on-the-job learning or learning through work. As a term, workplace learning emphasizes that particular contributions to individuals' learning provided and secured through engaging in work activities and interactions within workplaces or work practices. These contributions are often taken as being of a different kind than those accessible through participating in educational institutions. A particular quality associated with workplace learning experiences is that they are held to be 22 authentic instances of the occupational practices individuals need to learn. In this way, these experiences provide access to knowledge that is more readily applicable to the target occupational practice of which it is an instance than the knowledge accessed in settings whose experiences are not perceptibly aligned with the occupational, such as those in educational institutions. However, the term workplace learning also emphasizes learning, rather than teaching or training, thereby positioning it as being often as something occurring outside of educational provisions. The outcomes can lead to a concern that, in the absence of teaching and teachers, this learning may be less rich, ad hoc, narrow, and reductionist.
Encyclopaedia of the Sciences of Learning
Technical, Further and Workplace Education