Location of Repository

Can acquisition of expertise be supported by technology?

By Preeti Shah, Hilary Dexter, Neil Snowden and Tim Dornan


Professional trainees in the workplace are increasingly required to demonstrate specific standards of competence. Yet, empirical evidence of how professionals acquire competence in practice is lacking. The danger, then, is that efforts to support learning processes may be misguided. We hypothesised that a systemic view of how expertise is acquired would support more timely and appropriate development of technology to support workplace learning. The aims of this study were to provide an empirically based understanding of workplace learning and explore how learning could be facilitated through suitable application of technology. We have used the medical specialist trainee as an exemplar of how professionals acquire expertise within a complex working environment. We describe our methodological approach, based on the amalgam of systems analysis and qualitative research methods. We present the development of a framework for analysis and early findings from qualitative data analysis. Based on our findings so far, we present a tentative schema representing how technology can support learning with suggestions for the types of technology that could be used

Topics: T Technology (General), L Education (General)
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:generic.eprints.org:635/core5

Suggested articles



  1. (1990). A cognitive perspective on medical expertise: theory and implication. doi
  2. (2001). Computer assisted learning in undergraduate medical education. doi
  3. (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice. A guide to manage knowledge. doi
  4. (2005). Effective e-learning for health professionals and students — barriers and their solutions. A systematic review of the literature — findings from the HeXL project. Health Info Libr doi
  5. (2005). Learning as peripheral participation in communities of practice: a reassessment of key concepts in workplace learning. doi
  6. (2008). Personal profiles: Facilitating participation in Learning Networks. Available at hdl.handle.net/1820/1190, 1.TENC: Publications and Preprints.
  7. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. doi
  8. (2002). Sleep loss and fatigue in residency training: a reappraisal. JAMA: doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.