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Trends in the Learning and Training Development Sessions in the Automobile Workshops

Short literature review/issues already identified in this area:

The purpose of this section is to conduct an extensive literature survey on the trends in the learning and training development sessions in the automobile workshops.

Classrooms and workplace located situations are often used for developing the practical technical skills of auto mechanics. Practical technical skills, however, refer to the ability of diagnosing problems associated with the repairs of automobiles, the ability of undertaking the work of the day such as transmission rebuilding, brake repair, and the like, and the ability of using tools effectively and in an efficient manner. Although some of the researchers and practitioners might find that the stimulated workplace environments in the form of classrooms hold the capacity of teaching these skills but ‘learning by doing’ is the key in the automobile repairing industry (Boud & Felleti, 1991; Anderson et al., 1995).

Learning by doing is a powerful method of acquiring skills in any field; it has already been established. Almost four decades ago, Carl Rogers (1961, 1983) discussed the capabilities of this method under the banner of experimental and self-directed learning. His notion has been supported by people such as Knowles (1980) and Kolb (1984) who reflected the importance of experience in learning. Therefore, the tradition of apprenticeship has been developed to promote this workplace form of learning which remains well and alive today in various guises.

During the late 1800s, Dewey advocated this form of education which takes place within the community rather than in isolation (Lerwick, 1979). Likewise, Vygotsky (1978) identified cognition, activities, culture, and social institutions as critical elements of the process of learning by doing. He hypothesized a positive relationship between effective learning and meaningful and relevant completion of activities in the workplace (Vygotsky, 1978). Similarly, suited cognitive theory states that learning should occur within a specific context and must be repeated as closely as possible (Brown et al., 1989; Collins et al., 1991; Lave & Wenger, 1991). However, there is a lack of research on the nature and extent of this type of learning at the workplace, as pointed out by various researchers in the past including Bryce (1995) and Hawke (1998); a gap this study seeks to address.

Moreover, due to the advancements in technology and incorporate systems, for instance fuel injection control systems and computer ignition, skill upgrading programs are needed for teaching the informally trained employees. There is also a pressing need for the managers and owners of the workshops to take keen interests in these learning and training development sessions. It becomes interesting to note, under these conditions, the skill acquisition process of the informally trained workers within the automobile workplace, as this information is useful for development of the skill upgrading programs such as competency-based City and Guilds program, formal vocational institutions, and other forms of instruction and accreditation.

Although a variety of learning methods have been developed such as competency-based City and Guilds program, formal vocational institutions, and other forms of instruction and accreditation, workplace remains the area where the learning by doing is found the strongest (Sternberg & Horvath, 1999). Therefore, it is argued that workplace learning is an effective learning strategy. It is further argued that the formal vocational training regime must be superceded by the workplace form of learning. The reason lies in the fact that it is the dominant venue and a fertile field for acquiring practical technical skills and observing this type of skills acquisition in situ.

The observation is critically important because of the interest of the instructors of vocational training programs in learning the process of skill acquisition in the workplace. A set of useful information is collected by delineating these skills acquisition strategies and establishing both limitations and benefits which is later used in the development of vocational training processes. This study works in a little deviation from this traditional method of observing technical skill acquisition at the workplace. It attempts to make a firsthand observation of the relationship between the mechanics themselves and development of practical technical skills in the automobile repairing units. Furthermore, this study concerns itself with the processes of learning by doing in the workplace of mechanics and the influence of the managers and owners of the automobile repairing units in this regard. On the other end, it does not discuss the evolution and development of these processes under the tutelage of various school regimes and instructors.

Research Questions

Based on the research gap identified in the previous section, following research questions have been formulated for this study;

What is the nature and extent of ‘learning by doing’ at the workplace?
Is there a pressing need of skill upgrading programs for teaching the informally trained employees at the automobile repairing units due to the advancements in technology and incorporate systems?
What are the benefits and limitations of workplace skill acquisition?
What role managers and owners of the workshops can play in these learning and training development sessions?

Outline of the Research Methodology:


The research has been carried out in Jeddah – a location with abundance of accreditation and formal institutional influences. Five case study cites have been selected in Jeddah for reasons of convenience. The automobile repairing units only employees informally trained mechanics which indicates that they achieved all of their practical knowledge by working and learning at these car workshops, i.e., through the process of learning by doing. The employees had also not attended nor had participated in any formal vocational establishments in the form of polytechnics, technical colleges and the like. Neither had they sought any kind of formal accreditation during their work routine.

Sample Size and Selection of Sample

However, this study might be criticized for involving only the informally trained mechanics as it compromises the process of generalization of information collected during the research on other automobile training units with formally trained employees. The need for including only informally trained employees was felt due to the fact that the workplace skills acquisition must be studied in isolation from the influences of formal training; this need superceded this otherwise important consideration. Another consideration for only including the informally trained employees is the abundance of such workers throughout the world in general and the automobile repairing industry in particular. Almost eighty to ninety percent of the mechanics are engaged in the automobile industry in KSA today (

Data or sample collection will be purposive i.e. data will be collected in the form of surveys from selected five well reputed automobile local workshops, i.e., Al-Eitany, Mize, Al-Alamiyah, Moda Car, and High Peaks. The limited timeframe of _____ has been decided for this research study because only five case studies would be undertaken. As pointed out earlier, these case studies have been selected with the purpose of increasing the likelihood of generalizability. A pilot study of __ informal, semi-structured interviews of informally trained workers will be conducted concerning customer satisfactory perspective, reputation, high performance, and highest targeted clients as well as repetitive learning procedures, technical rationality, problem defining, benefits of workplace skill acquisition, and limitations of workplace skill acquisition.

Sources of Data

To collect correct data and assure maximum data quality, high management and the supervisors will be most relied on when surveying.

Collection of Data

Data collected will be quantitative and based upon questionnaires. Data collection will be from three different perspectives,

Repetitive learning procedures,
Technical rationality,
Problem defining,
Benefits of workplace skill acquisition,
Limitations of workplace skill acquisition, and
Level of involvement of owners and managers in the skill acquisition process of the informally trained employees at automobile repairing units.

There will be a separate survey conducted on the strategies of development learning management based upon research objectives as well.

Exposure Assessment

The exposure assessment will be made reliable and valid by statistic data collected through the data collection techniques of questionnaires and survey based on interviews.

Data Management

The data collection will be based on validity, reliability, competence, precision, and integrity.

All this will be done by showing statistical data collected through questionnaires using tables and charts.

Data Analysis Strategies

Data will be analyzed by the comparison of the results of the survey and interviews conducted from those referred five local automobile workshops, by using the critical evaluative study under the umbrella of above mentioned theories of learning management.

Ethics and Human Subjects Issues

The paper will also keep in notice the use of ethical and human Subjective issues during the conductance of interviews and surveys. The researcher or surveyor will also keep in mind the basic ethical and human rights including:

Beneficence (Doing Good)
Preventing any Harm
Trust within Interviewer and Participants
Personal Dignity
Integrity of Voluntary
Personal Information

The Anticipated Timeframe will be the first week of June 2018,

Chapters Timeframe
Chapter 1: Introduction Last week of January
Chapter 2: Literature Review Last week of February
Chapter 3: Research Methodology Third week of March
Chapter 4: Research Findings Last week of April
Chapter 5: Conclusion, Suggestions First week of June

Anticipate Possible Constraint:

Three most important project constraints or triple Constraints also known as the project management triangle, are

Schedule: All the chapters have deadline to meet but Time & Date are universal constraint which is difficult to manage, that must be met.
Biasedness: The biased constraint for the researcher will be the possible biased views of the workers or company about their information etc.
Due Diligence: Due to extra care and judgmental evaluation due to legal, professional or ethical reasons the project may timeframe extend.
Quality: A quality of data collection that satisfies the researcher is a mandatory requirement.

References and/or Bibliography:

Anderson, L. Bond, D. & Cohen, D. (1995). Experience-Based Learning, in G. Foley (Ed.) Understanding Adult Education. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Boud, D. & Felleti, G. (1991). The Challenges of Problem-based Learning. London: Kogan Page.
Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18 (1), 32-42.
Bryce, M. (Ed). (1995). Delivering Training Reform: the critical role of employers and the workplace, Working Paper No. 36. Sydney: Australian Center for Industrial Relations Research and Teaching, University of Sydney.
Collins, A., Hawkins, J., & Carver, S. M. (1991). A cognitive apprenticeship for disadvantaged students. In B. Means, C. Chelemer, & M. S. Knapp (Eds.), Teaching advanced skills to at-risk students (p. 216-243). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Hawke, G. (1998). Learning, Workplaces, and Public Policy, in: J. Mclntyre & M. Barrett (Eds). VET Research: Influencing Policy and Practices. Sydney: Australian Vocational Education Training Research Association.
Knowles, M. (1980). Modern Practice of Adult Education: from pedagogy to androgogy, 2nd Ed. Chicago: Associated Press.
Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential Learning. Eaglewood Cliffs. Prentice Hall.
Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University.
Lerwick, L. P. (1979). Alternative concepts of vocational education. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. Minnesota Research and Development Center.
Rogers, C. (1961) On Becoming a Person. London: Constable.
Rogers, C. (1983) Freedom to Learn, 2nd Ed. Columbus: Charles, E. Merrill.
Sternberg, R. & Horvath, J. (Eds) (1999). Innovative Continuing Training Concepts as the Response to Challenges in European Motor Vehicle Service Sector, Vocational Training, 5, pp. 45-52.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University



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