On-Line Learning, Role-Play and Reflection to Encourage Professional Insight through Knowledge Transfer on a Work-Based Professional Educator Programme

M Harris, S Cornelius, C Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the use of on-line learning, role-play and reflection within a work-based professional learning course for Further Education (FE) lecturers at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and discusses whether knowledge, both tacit and explicit, is transferred among group participants, encouraging professional insight into the issues discussed. The activity forms part of a programme entitled “The Teaching Qualification Further Education” (TQFE) which is designed for lecturers wishing to re-skill or bring their knowledge bases and practices up-to-date. The students undertake a tripartite arrangement involving themselves, the university and the workplace.

We examine the results of an investigation into the experience of both learners and tutors on an on-line workshop involving an anonymous, synchronous role-play activity and continuous reflection on current thoughts and beliefs in respect of quality in education. Feedback was gathered via on-line comments, semi-structured telephone and face-to-face interviews, and on-line questionnaires. In total, sixty-six lecturers from four colleges, together with four e-moderators took part.

The results show that participants begin their studies with pre-conceived notions of both the issue to be discussed and of on-line learning environments in general but by sharing information and knowledge, attitudes to both the topic area and the learning environment can be altered. This includes the transfer of both tacit and explicit knowledge from participants from different subject areas. The examination also revealed issues relating to the potential for inequality and over dominance of individual participation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Number of pages12
JournalWork Based Learning e-Journal
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009



  • knowledge transfer
  • group learning
  • on-line role-play
  • continuous professional development

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