ELSa: an important contribution to the discussion about learning competence in the digitized world of work

I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant at first when I was asked if I was interested in becoming a part of the advisory panel of the ELSa project about two years ago

This was due to the longer version of the project’s title “Adult learning in self-learning architectures”. I was hesitant because I have been struggling with the term “self-learning” for a while now and have been asking myself for years if the so-called self-learning is not in fact a useless, or at least misguided, term. Has it not always been “ourselves” who learned, with or without the support of digital media? This can hardly be denied. But as my interest in the project itself was stronger than my inner resistance against words such as “self-learning”, as long as they are being used as pleonasms, I finally decided to participate in the advisory panel of ELSa.

What is ELSa about?

The goals of the project, which is coordinated by the Munich-based Association for Research and Development in Vocational Training and Occupations (GAB) and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), are laid out quite clearly on the website:

  • To research, to develop and to test a pedagogy of advanced training for self-organized learning processes of adults using the example of the target group “learners in advanced training” wherein the adult learners are architects of their own training.
  • The focus is on “self-learning” (in the sense of learning alone), forms of collective learning, learning consultancy and assistance, and digital support of learners.
  • Because it is important to be aware of one’s motives and prior skills at the beginning of a self-organized learning process, ELSa also researches suitable methods of competence assessment to measure the learning requirements of learners as accurately as possible at the start of the learning process itself.

Further information on goals, contents and results as well as on the parties involved in the project can be found on the website http://www.gab-muenchen.de/de/detail-74_13_277-elsa.htm (German only).

I am of the opinion that learning about the ELSa project and its results is very worthwhile in view of the ever-growing opportunities digital learning formats can offer to learners. This is especially true because learning competency and learning ability are becoming ever more important for securing the employability of today’s and tomorrow’s professionals in an increasingly digitized world of work.


ELSa: an important contribution to the discussion about learning competence in the digitized world of work

About The Author
- Dr. Peter Littig, born 1948, is a mathematician, physicist and educational scientist. He used to teach at public and private schools and has been working in adult education since 1984. He was trainer, consultant and head of department at Control Data Institut. From 1995 on, he was head of education at DEKRA Akademie GmbH. He is now retired, but still serves as advisor on educational policy to the board of directors.He has published numerous papers and books on further education, human resource development and digitization in learning and training.

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