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Design criteria for work-based learning: Merrill's First Principles of Instruction expanded

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In multinational corporations, new models of learning are developing. A particular model with direct applications for challenges facing distributed workforces is one that combines the strengths of formal and informal learning while focusing on participants’ work-based tasks. An operationalisation of this model in the context of the ongoing professional development of the engineers, geologists, and other technical specialists in a multinational oil company (Shell EP) is described. Important for the quality control and continual improvement of the implementation of the model is a set of criteria for the design and evaluation of courses reflecting its work-based learning approach. Merrill's First Principles of Instruction (2002) form a starting point for such a model, but need to be expanded to reflect the particular needs of the Shell EP context. This article presents the expansion of Merrill's First Principles as the Merrill+design and evaluation criteria for courses with work-based activities for technical professionals and demonstrates how the criteria can be applied through a selection of some results of evaluations of more than 60 of the Shell EP courses using a course-scan methodology based on the Merrill+ criteria. Implications of use of the Merrill+ criteria for design and evaluation are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Learning and Change research group, University of Twente.

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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