This paper reports the findings of an investigation to determine whether guided workplace learning can assist the development of skills and knowledge required for workplace performance. Previous work proposes that participation in everyday work activities make significant contributions to the development of individuals’ vocational knowledge (Billett 1993, 1994a, 1994b, 1996, Harris et al 1996, Harris & Volet 1997). Engagement in authentic workplace activities, and the direct and indirect guidance available in everyday participation in the workplaces were identified as the bases of these contributions.

My question relates to the top quote.
I have to read some scientific papers on the topic "Workplace learning" and I struggle with the exact meaning of "work activities" in this quote.
I guess one possibility would be that it relates to activities you usually do at work (e.g. write articles, organize stuff, make coffee, ...) and by doing those activities rather than doing something else would improve your skills over time.
Another meaning that comes to my mind would be that the author means something like participating in regular work-related activities (e.g. exercises, discussions in groups about topic xyz) would improve your skills, so in general that activities would be learning activities instead of just applying already known knowledge as it would be the case in guess no.1.

I hope you can help me out with this.

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    Compare that to another paper I found (which I believe is by the same author): This paper reports and discusses the findings of an investigation that examined the efficacy of guided learning in the workplace. It's rather clear that, in the author's mind, "guided workplace learning" = "guided learning in the workplace". As a layperson term, anything we learn in the workplace can be thought of as "guided learning in the workplace". However, I believe that the author aimed at activities that benefit the workplace. – Damkerng T. Mar 24 '15 at 13:22
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    @Dam Some things we might learn by doing at work without any guidance. Once, I got a job as a research assistant, fresh out of grad school. My boss asked me if I wanted to take a class to learn something about a software program we needed to use, or if I wanted him to give me some lessons, or if I wanted to buy a couple of books and fool around with it on my own. I chose to start by getting some books and fooling around with it on my own. I think that was something I learned at work but as an "unguided workplace activity." – Jim Reynolds Mar 25 '15 at 9:07

The difference between "guided workplace learning" and "participating in workplace activities" is probably similar to the difference between "learning English in a classroom" and "going to an English-speaking county and talking to people you meet on the street".

Being taught workplace skills is important, but actually practicing them on your own is probably even more important. Anything you do while in a workplace, acting as an employee, counts as a workplace activity. Writing articles helps you gain experience and confidence, and is a workplace activity. Talking to your co-workers while making coffee in the breakroom is also a workplace activity.

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