Driving Through! Online Learning for Industrial Supply Chains

Dr. Gilly SALMON

Interaction between work (thought of as doing) and learning (mastering new knowledge and skills) and between paid work and leisure is predicated to become much more fluid in the future . With the advent of online learning, this notion becomes real and the role of training to work in new ways and in new online environments becomes of critical importance. There is broadening acceptance and understanding of learning as a socially mediated and constructed process and of knowledge as no longer "fixed". Therefore supporting training and education through work-based networks, especially exploiting the interactive benefits of online working, needs to take account of a much wider variety of factors than learning to use appropriate software. This article aims to research and develop concepts and practice in this field of well-structured distance learning courses (which increasingly include some online working), to the requirements of organisational learning and the individuals within them in the context of the project, named KLASS (Knowledge and Learning in Automotive Supply Systems). KLASS has a course which provides learning within industry based networks and aims: to attract to distance learning individuals and groups that tend to be under represented within the adult learner population (people working within manufacturing in small and medium enterprises (SMEs),using an appropriate mix of media; to develop motivations for learning among individuals and within the companies that employ them; to identify, through an initial focus on the development of work capabilities, the potential for improvements in performance, thereby contributing to improved employment security in a sector that faces intense economic and technological pressures; to stimulate collaborative learning in supply chains. The course which takes 220 hours includes a higher than average level of tutorial support for students, through four routes: Preliminary induction, via day schools/workshops and support materials, for key role holders: Change Facilitators and Team Leaders; Day schools held in the start-up and mid-project stages; Learning support from highly experienced tutors, which is provided face-to-face, and via synchronous and who have extensive experience of the analytical tools and approaches being used in the course and of support for industry based learners. And the course consists of Module One: Working Smarter?; Module Two: Analysing Your Workplace; Module Three: Developing a Learning Network as three main modules. The course implement in two main steps. One of them is Supporting online learning for supply chains, and contains five stage as Stage 1 Gaining Access To and Use of the CMC System, Stage 2 Becoming Familiar with the On-line Environment, Stage 3 Asking For and Giving Information, Stage 4- Knowledge construction-group and community interaction, Stage 5 Looking for Additional Benefits. The sacond main step is Building an Interactive Online Training Programme. In this step the researcher care about The Principle of Training Online, Training Structures, Building in Reflection and Learning online through supply chains-translation to practice.