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Organisational Learning Method – Tricks of the Trade

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“Tricks Of The Trade” refers to work procedures and concepts used by experienced persons in a particular type of work, which are difficult and unlikely to be learnt by discovery alone.

This ‘hidden’ knowledge is unique in all workplaces and is difficult to learn or refine unless modelled and demonstrated by an experienced person through collaborative learning.

The focus of this workplace learning method is to introduce the steps for an experienced worker to uncover the “tricks of the trade” to a learner.

  1. Experienced worker identify and select work tasks appropriate to learner’s level of competence.
  2. Explain ‘hidden’ knowledge/concepts to learner.
  3. Remind learner to write down the ‘hidden’ knowledge/concepts.
  4. Demonstrate work procedures to learner.
  5. Get learner to carry out the procedure to show understanding and remember better.
  6. Help learner understand the principles behind the tricks of the trade.
  7. Encourage learner to ask questions to deepen understanding.
  8. Engage learner to reflect on what they have learnt.
  9. Help learner to apply learning to other tasks where applicable.

  1. Organisation / management
    • An organisational culture whereby experienced workers are willing to share knowledge, collaborate and provide guidance to learners.
    • Provide opportunities for learners to participate in joint problem-solving activities with more experienced workers.
  2. Workplace ‘trainer’
    • Ability to guide, organise and support the learning of the learners during work activities.
    • Understand and meet the learning needs of the learners.
    • Providing access to ‘hidden’ knowledge that is difficult to learn about.
  3. Workplace ‘learner’
    • Willingness to seek help from more experienced co-workers when necessary.
    • Open to participate in shared problem-solving tasks with co-workers.