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Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Purpose: The aim of this paper is to evaluate the role of learning from participation in a group of work-based learners. Design/methodology/approach: This study relies on qualitative data obtained from a survey of perspectives of students on two work-based learning programmes. A group of 16 undergraduate and seven postgraduate students participated in a focus group and a number of one-to-one interviews. Findings: It was found that work-based learners learn effectively from both their community of practice in the workplace and their learning group of work-based learners within the university. The study suggests that a learning group experience is valued highly by work-based students and that dialogue with other students in the learning group appears to make a significant contribution to enhancing their knowledge. Practical implications: The findings have implications for the design of work-based learning programmes. The approach which integrates learning from the students' workplace community of practice and learning from the learning group at the university appears to be most effective. Originality/value: The paper discusses the relationship between the nature of work-based learning and the structure and pedagogy underlying such learning. Whilst the paper recognises that there are benefits to the individualised approach to work-based learning, it nevertheless argues for more focus on the social aspect of learning, and emphasises the role of interaction with other learners in the learning group.