There has been growing demand for continuous improvements in the workplace to meet the needs of the knowledge economy of the twenty-first century in Hong Kong. Full-time employees are being challenged by greater demands on quality and the introduction of new practices mediated by the use of new technologies. To review what they have been practising, employers may consider promoting employee development through a partnership with universities. This paper discusses a feasibility study of the learning experiences of an employee development partnership course, ‘Basic Apparel Construction’, run by a university in Hong Kong. The course was structured as a mix of learning modes, with interactive lectures and practice-based workshops; this aimed to match employees with different work experiences and with different roles and responsibilities in a company. With 56 in-service students selected from over 500 staff, conventional lectures were modified so that they were given practical tasks to work on while theories were introduced. Students were also given multiple opportunities to provide peer feedback in the practice-based workshops and end-of-course project. As observed, these students required some time to adopt critical reflective practice during the course. Nevertheless, they were not hindered but rather were ready to review their current practice through the exercises when they reviewed both the basic concepts and the introduction of new technology. A paper-based survey was conducted when the course was finished. Results indicate that full-time employees benefit from this type of partnership scheme, particularly when they could make the connection between their work and the theories and with multiple opportunities to practise peer-group assessment.
|Keywords:||Continuous Professional Development, University-Industry Partnership, Peer Assessment|
Research Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Lecturer, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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