Learning Layers – Scaling up Technologies for Informal Learning in SME Clusters
Learning Layers is a large-scale research project co-funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme.The consortium consists of 17 institutions from 7 different countries.
We develop a set of modular and flexible technological layers for supporting workplace practices in SMEs that unlock peer production and scaffold learning in networks of SMEs. We apply these technologies in two sectors that have been particularly hesitant to take up learning technologies, i.e. health care and building and construction. Involving two representative and large-scale regional SME clusters allows us to involve end-users in co-design of the system and later scale up the approach to more than 1,000 learners within 4 years.
The concepts and technologies we develop help to bridge the gap between scaling and adaptation to personal needs. By building on recent advances in contextualised learning, Learning Layers provide a meaningful learning context when people interact with people, digital and physical artefacts for their informal learning, thus making learning faster and more effective. Building on mobile learning research, we situate learning into physical work places and practices to support situated, faster and more meaningful learning. Learning Layers provide a shared conceptual foundation independent of the tools people use and the context they are in. Learning Layers are based on a common light-weight, distributed infrastructure that allows for fast and flexible deployment in highly distributed and dynamic settings.
By inviting a larger set of stakeholders to adapt and build on our solutions and through research in sustainable business training models, the project will generate significant impact by boosting the ability of regional innovation systems to adapt to change and thereby remain competitive, on the individual, organisational and regional level. We demonstrate the impact in the two chosen sectors, but widen the scope to other sectors and regions towards the end of the project.
Project Website: http://learning-layers.eu/
Project Type: Large-scale integrating project (IP)
Programme: EU 7th Framework
Call: ICT-2011.8.1 Technology-enhanced learning
Total Budget: approx. 12 Million EURO
Start Date: 01 November 2012
Project Duration: 4 years