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This task involves individually researching and writing an essay, examining a current area in human resource development (HRD) and adult workplace learning. This essay will be approximately 1,500 words in length – excluding the reference list. The due date for this assessment piece is 11:55 PM AEST Sunday 24 September, 2017.

Overall, your essay should provide:

A thorough description and critical analysis of the relevant academic literature in human resource development and learning and development to address your essay question.

Appropriate and well-integrated supporting references to research studies and organisational case studies.

A reflection that relates your analysis to your personal “adult” learning experience, career development, work-related learning goals and/or work experience. It might also include “observed” real world examples.

An evaluation of the importance of your chosen topic/theory(ies) to HRD and/or adult learning and development within contemporary organisations.

An indication of related issues, trends and HRD practices. 


Specific Instructions

This assessment requires you to choose and explore ONE of the key areas that relates to HRD and Adult Learning within contemporary organisations.

Transformational learning

Experiential learning

Communities of practice

Team learning

Peer mentoring

Leadership mentoring.

Once you have chosen your topic area from the above list and have done some initial reading and research, formulate your own research essay “question.” This will help to further guide your research and to focus on your essay.






Sample Questions Below:   You are free to choose one as your own or to modify it. (Otherwise if you formulate your own – you will need to email it to me for approval along with attaching two related peer reviewed articles that you intend to use.)

Adult learners learn differently and have different individual needs.  Consider this in relation to adult learning theory, the organisational context and the resulting challenges that may occur for an HRD practitioner.

Social learning is important within today’s complex organizational environment. Discuss this with particular reference to at least one of the following – Communities of Practice, teams and mentoring.   

Are peer mentoring and networks more effective than dyadic mentoring in the modern organizational context?  How are they different?  Explore and discuss this in regards to knowledge management.

Communities of Practice encourage knowledge sharing and learning.   Use relevant course concepts and specific examples from your industry or occupation to explore and discuss.

Is informal mentoring more effective than formal mentoring in regards to encouraging growth and development?  

What re the benefits of formal mentoring programs within organisations?  What challenges do they create for HRD?  Consider this in regards to gender and other differences.

Team learning is more effective than individual learning in dealing with the needs of modern organizations?  Explore and discuss.  

Experiential learning is an important part of team learning and social learning within the workplace.  Analyse and discuss.

Transformative learning has become useful to organizations undergoing change. Why? Discuss this statement, whilst considering what role teams, mentoring and COP play in facilitating this type of learning.  (Choose at least one).

Teams learn differently compared to individuals.  Explore and discuss relating to the modern organisational context.

Mentoring is a useful tool for Leadership learning.  Discuss referring to the different types of mentoring ie dyadic and peer mentoring and the resulting benefits and challenges of each.

In each of these you should refer to your own workplace experience also as per essay guidelines.

Please let me know if you are interested in one of the above.  If you decide to reshape one then send me the modified version.

Assessment quality:

You need to take an analytical and critical perspective consistent with the expectations of a postgraduate student.

Your research essay should demonstrate a sound grasp of the academic HRD and adult learning literature and draw on relevant theoretical concepts and frameworks.

The analysis should be academic and based on a minimum of 10 academic and peer-reviewed journal articles not already provided on the LMS.

You may include in addition information obtained from credible sources (e.g., articles provided in class, textbooks, chapters, practitioner articles, organisation reports, etc.). Note that Wikipedia and similar sources are NOT acceptable for any assessments in this subject.

Assessment structure:

Your final assessment should include the following elements:

An appropriate narrowing of the scope of your “topic” through 1) framing of your essay question and 2) the development of a clear thesis statement towards the end of your introduction. 

An essay question that is appropriately framed and focused and is responded to in the essay.

An appropriate introduction, body and conclusion that responds to your essay question.

A well-formulated introduction which includes a thesis statement (that is, a brief interpretation of your research question including your opinion or claim) and clear reference to your conclusion.

Thorough explanation, reflection and critical analysis of your essay question with some final synthesis.

Application and critical analysis of appropriate academic research and theory from HRD and Learning and Development, cited appropriately.

Personal reflection that applies your specific academic analysis to your own workplace learning, career development and/or work-related learning goals in a logical and thoughtful way.

Development of logical and well-supported arguments. The latter involves the use of supporting research, case study examples and/or observation. 

Overall clarity of expression and an integrated structure.

See also ‘Assessment format requirements’ (below).



Assessment Format Requirements

The individual written assignment should be formatted appropriately and professionally:

It should include a cover page with your research question and your student details.

Correct grammar, spelling, and transitions.

Include page numbering in the footer of the document.

Use 12-point standard font, 1.5 or double spacing, and 2.54cm (1 inch) margins on all sides.

Use Academy of Management referencing for in-text citations and your reference list.


Select the following link to access the rubric for this assessment: Assessment 2 rubric

Help with your research and writing

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Select the following link for specific help with Business-economics writing support: La Trobe Writing assistance – Business and Economics 

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Referencing Requirements

Use the Academy of Management referencing style for all in-text citations and references.

Properly cite sources in the main text and include a separate reference list page.

A minimum requirements of 20 academic references.