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Formal Education as Lifelong Learning for Working Professionals: A Case Study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2019 (English)In: Proceeedings of the 18th European Conference on e-Learning / [ed] Rikke Ørngreen, Mie Buhl, Bente Meyer, Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2019, p. 276-283Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Compared to traditional work-based skills development programs, commissioned education is an attractive solution for working professionals to develop skills to better fit into their constantly reshaping job profiles while acquiring a higher educational qualification. Commissioned programs, on the other hand, typically require a high level of commitment, such as constant engagement in learning and rigorous assessment of knowledge. However, comparatively less light is shed on the designs and impacts of commissioned education than the other lifelong learning and professional development methods. This paper, therefore, presents a systematic empirical study on design, execution and evaluation of commissioned education based on a program at masters’ level for middle and senior project managers offered for seven years at the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University. The program is evaluated at the end of every academic year, and the reforms are duly implemented. Impact of these reforms is systematically evaluated based on perceptions of the teachers and students of the program. Blended form of courses offering was voted best in contrast of complete online and face-to-face forms, with a structure of classroom meetings in the beginning and the end of a course, and synchronised online meetings for formative assessments. Didactical indicators included problem-based learning approaches that tights the workplace problems into course assignments and formative discussions. Need for pre-planning with adequate information about the course workload and deadlines, increased communication between stakeholders, flexibility and efficiency in the course offers are identified as essential success factors. Emotional support from the family is also recognized as an equally important factor in adult learning. A formal education qualification such as a master’s degree is a difficult goal to achieve in one step, and should ideally be achieved by aggregating short term goals such as certifications of shorter durations, according to the outcome of the study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2019. p. 276-283
Series
Proceedings of the European conference on e-learning, ISSN 2048-8637, E-ISSN 2048-8645
Keywords [en]
commissioned education, lifelong learning, professional development, program evaluation, pedagogy, blended learning, problem based learning
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178189ISBN: 978-1-912764-42-6 (print)ISBN: 978-1-912764-41-9 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-178189DiVA, id: diva2:1387129
Conference
18th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL), Copenhagen, Denmark, 7-8 November, 2019
Available from: 2020-01-20 Created: 2020-01-20 Last updated: 2020-01-21Bibliographically approved

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Formal Education as Lifelong Learning for Working Professionals: A Case Study

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