Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Team Syntegrity in a Triple Loop Learning Model for Course Development

Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Team Syntegrity in a Triple Loop Learning Model for Course Development

Article excerpt


A problem that occurs in the Technical Communication sector is that companies have big problems to find and employ staff with a suitable competence. A technical communicator need to be able to communicate technical advanced concepts to different target audiences which requires technical, linguistics as well as skills in using computer tools. Lofstedt and Nystrom (2008) have shown that the companies within the technical communication sector are forced to hire staff lacking relevant education and therefore need to arrange the education themselves. This is experienced as both too expensive and ineffective. The regular staff is needed in the production but have to act as internal educators. The staff engaged in internal education may also have difficulties in handing over the education to others when changing work tasks or leave for a new employer.

According to the goal of the Bologna declaration 1999 students should be employable after education at a university. Forrier and Sels (2003) state, that employability is a multi-faceted construct. Rothwell and Arnold (2007) add that it has both internal and external dimensions. Andrews and Higson (2008) express that there are some serious concerns about the gap between the students' skills and capabilities, and the requirements and demands of the work environment. On the other hand there are critical voices about focusing on employability. According to Harvey (2000) there are some that argue that employability is about "erosion of academic freedom and as proposing higher education should be about training graduates for jobs rather than improving their minds" (Harvey 2000 p.3). Further Harvey (2000) argues that employability should not be seen as the primary focus of higher education. It should rather be seen as a subset of transformative lifelong learning. Cranmer (2006) concludes that the intentions from the academics to enhance graduates employability have limitations and employer involvement and employment-based training and experience have a positive effect on graduates' employability.

In spite of the different opinions about focusing on employability the problems with finding people with suitable competence to employ still remains. To develop an education that takes into consideration aspects and ideas from both employers and (future) employees, there is a need to find a method that involves both groups in the process. It is though difficult to catch all requirements and to balance between different needs. The aim of this paper is to improve the course development process by the use of a Team Syntegrity in a Triple Loop Learning model.

Triple Loop Learning

Double or even Triple, Loop Learning has to a certain degree influenced the development of TI courses and study programs. Our comprehension of Triple Loop Learning (TLL) takes its point of departure in three basic questions:

Q1. Are we learning things in the right way? (How)

Q2. Are we learning the right things? (What)

Q3. Is rightness buttressed by mightness or vice versa? (Why)

In Single Loop Learning (SLL), according to Flood and Romm (1996) just one of those essential questions is considered. Regardless which of the three questions is selected this leads to a fixed, or trapped, quest without evolution. The consequence will be a non reflexive learning with isolationism and stagnation as a consequence. Here identification of and the best way to achieve them is not considered problematic. Flood and Romm (1996) further argue that well known methods like Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and Total Quality Management (TQM) are typical examples of SLL.

In Double Loop Learning (DLL) normal the two first questions are considered with a certain reflection between them (Flood and Romm, 1996). The risk is, however, that one of the questions is considered the dominant one. That means that the reflexive looping ends and is replaced with a double vision and blurriness (Flood and Romm 1996). …

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