Introduction to learning systems

High-level Quality Management System Framework

The learning system is at the core of good quality management. It ties the other components of the Quality Management System framework together.


Why are learning systems important?

  • Defined terms create a common, accessible language for all
  • Better communication increases understanding and enables the sharing of knowledge
  • Systems which drive learning enable us to manage the quality of work
  • Purposeful activity to share information results in faster, iterative learning
  • They are a practical way to create a culture of learning

When to use a learning system

Not every piece of work merits its own learning system. Use a learning system if an issue is complex with many interdependencies or if adapting new learning to a different setting. The more any new learning will need to be adapted or “translated” to work in a new setting, the more it would benefit from a learning system (Guzman et al, 2014).

Consider the following questions:An image showing a question mark

  • Would it be beneficial to involve a range of people from different backgrounds and contexts?
  • Do participants potentially have different needs from the system and different levels of interest to engage?
  • Is it unclear how you might achieve your goal?
  • Is the issue being tackled complex, uncertain and requiring multiple perspectives to solve?
  • Do people need to form close working relationships and feel trusted to share information?

If the answer is “Yes” to any of the questions above then a learning system built on a Network approach could be valuable.

  • Background

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