• Hallstein Hegerholm Nesna University College
  • Ulf Hedestig University of Umeå
  • Geir-Tore Klæbo Nesna University College


This paper presents a case study on workplace learning were Swedish and Norwegian public authorities participated in an academic course in business process modelling. The aim has been to develop an understanding of how partners in a transnational project can build bridges between the academic teaching and the students’ local learning at work. A sociocultural framework was applied in the study focusing on the use of tools, the building of knowledge and learning in the zone of proximal development, the crossing of boarders, and interaction and networking between activities. The source of data consisted of semistructured interviews, two surveys, observations at gatherings and at local workplaces, data from learning management system, and student’s reports. Analyse of the data was based on four dialogical learning mechanisms – identification, coordination, reflection and transformation. Our findings show that students’ local cases acted as key drivers for their developmental process, as the course transformed from distribution of information to case based knowledge building process at local work places. A mutual learning process occurred when teacher and students taught each other in a zone of proximal development. Further, the use of business model techniques made the interpretation of academic discipline easier, since it created a common language that served as a foundation for shared understanding when they discussed their local cases.
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