Your Questions

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Your Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who are we?

Pat Tuckey is the main point of contact for all At Work Learning (AWL) customers. Building on a Certificate in Adult and Workplace Learning, a Minor in Adult and Workplace Learning, and a Masters of Education, specializing in Adult and Workplace Learning.

She is well connected with the learning community and recruits team members with the talent necessary to meet customer needs. Ongoing coaching/mentoring and leading/managing the teams are her primary responsibilities. Pat coaches and mentors team members on the key principles of Adult Learning and the use of the methodologies and practical tools she develops to support the principles. Depending on the scope and nature of the learning service required, Pat selects and leads/partners with one or more of the AWL team members to provide the service.

What do you get?

AWL services are research-based. We apply proven academic research to adult learning in the workplace. Our approach, whether it be building competency frameworks or building learning services to close identified competency gaps, three primary methodologies are used:

  • Action Learning
  • Design-Based Learning

What do you mean by evidence-based competencies?

Competencies describe knowledge, behavior and skills required to perform your job well and help define your team and workplace culture.

Competencies can be measured in part by successful completion of training; however, real world proof of required competency is obtained through evidence such as task performance observations and products of work.

An evidence-based competency framework helps address the divide between intention and action.

What is Action Learning?

When possible, AWL draws on the Action Learning Model (modified) first introduced by Professor Reginald Revans in 1980. Please note, we say “modified” as Revan did not include tools and frameworks in his model. Our approach is to do so. If the customer already has tools and frameworks in place, we endeavour to make that transparent and seek approval to incorporate the tools and frameworks in the learning.

The idea behind the Action Learning Model is that a learner can gather knowledge by working on their own or with one or more other peers in a workplace, real-time setting to find a solution to a problem or scenario.

  1. The learning experience should be centered around finding an answer or a solution to a problem or a skill to be learned or enhanced that exists or is anticipated to exist in the future.
  2. We build on Revans’ principle that Action Learning is a highly social activity and process by demonstrating how interaction with others and the use of instruments and frameworks provide the toolkit required to work towards solutions. The social aspect brings more than one lived experience into the learning which promotes rich discussion and reflection of multiple perspectives.
  3. Retention and sustainability of the learning are achieved by working with the individuals to work together to develop their knowledge base and skill sets to arrive at the solution to the scenario or problem and/or to learn the new or enhanced skill. As importantly, working through to solution or the new or enhanced skill ensures that application to the work and methods of sustainment are clearly identified by the learners.

What is ADDIE?

ADDIE is a universal methodology which stands for:

Analyse (the needs analysis process)
Design (designing the learning)
Develop (develop the learning)
Implement (deliver the learning)
Evaluate (we use Kirkpatrick Level 3-4)

What used to be a linear ADDIE process (A-E) is now more effectively applied as an integrated methodology; hence, AWL’s Design Based Learning (DBL) approach.

What is Design-based Learning (DBL)?

Design-based learning development draws on the iterative process of design based research (DBR) structure used by Brenda Bannan-Ritland and John Y. Baek (2008) in their recount of the Literacy Access Online (LAO) design research project (see Bannan-Ritland, 2003).

The research is workplace based and aligns with Fenwick and Gibb’s (2008) statement that “work learning is a cultural phenomenon: that is, it involves not just human change, but interconnections of humans and their actions with rules, tools and texts, cultural and material environments. The norms, routines, language, relationships and everyday objects/technologies of a particular professional community of practice or industry shape the generation of knowledge, as well as attitudes about what is considered useful to learn and what processes count as learning (Engeström, 2001; Sawchuk, 2003; Wenger, 1998)” (pp. 136-137).

Iterations are typically sequential and embedded in the ADDIE model. Subset bullets below identify standard DBL iterations:


  • Investigate context
  • Identify needs


  • Develop criteria


  • Generate alternatives
  • Select alternative
  • Prototype/test


  • Produce and deliver


Themes and topics cannot be effectively learned in silo. The very nature of the content is social and involves other people, HR policies and procedures, organization culture, values and work processes. Action-based learning, integrated with Design Based Curriculum development ensures consideration of the social. To facilitate this approach, DACUM sessions are conducted with SMEs as well as meetings with key stakeholders to access customer processes, systems and end-users.

Sources: Bannan-Ritland, B., & Baek, J. Y. (2008). Investigating the act of design in design research: The road taken. In A. E. Kelly, R. A. Lesh, & J. Y. Baek (Eds.), Handbook of design research methods in education: Innovations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning and teaching, pp. 299-319. New York, NY: Routledge.
Edelson, D. C. (2002). Design research: What we learn when we engage in design. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 11(1), 105-121. doi: 10.1207/s15327809jls1101_4

What type of organizations benefit from your service?

If you are a public, private or not-for-profit organization who specializes in Oil and Gas, EPC, Government, Staffing and Recruiting you are our niche market. Our services are fully transferable to any department in any industry.

We have excellent references available from companies such as Suncor, SAIT, CNOOC International, The City of Calgary, Husky Energy and The Immigrant Education Society.

Who should champion the competency framework initiatives in my organization?

Competency frameworks are industry and department specific. It is key to have leader buy-in and sponsorship to demonstrate their commitment to a competent workforce.

We are on board and want to engage your services. What is the process, and how long will it take?

There is no one-size-fits-all. Our initial consultation is free (typically one hour is required). A Project Charter of the process, timelines and budget will be provided within 1 week of the consultation for review and discussion.

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Give us a call to see how we can help you

  • 587-999-0901