Research to improve the efficiency of the safety training-2

TACTICAL AND STRATEGIC DESIGN


Tactical design is focused on the overall internal structure of the educational product (e.g. a multi-year set of teaching materials; a year’s assessment; a professional development package). Typically it involves such things as:
=Specification of core design principles, selected in the light of prior research on learning, teaching, and/or professional development trajectories – or, too often, just marketing;
=Selection of specific learning and performance goals, including strands of progression;
=Specifying sequences and cross-connections within the materials, balancing linear coherence with diverse multiple connections (among concepts and contexts, standard results to learn and open investigations to experience).

Tactical tools- scaffolding and sequencing

Like its namesake in the construction industry, scaffolding in education is a temporary support mechanism. Students receive assistance early on to complete tasks, then as their proficiency increases, that support is gradually removed. In this fashion the student takes on more and more responsibility for their own learning.

There are eight characteristics of web-based educational scaffolding:

Scaffolding provides clear directions
Step-by-step instructions are necessary to let students know what they need to accomplish to successfully meet the requirements of the task. Care should be taken by designers so that instructions produce as little confusion for students as possible.
Scaffolding clarifies purpose
The objective of the activity is made clear at the outset and a "big-picture" point of view dominates in each individual activity.
Scaffolding keeps student on task
The structure provided helps keep students from getting distracted and "wandering off."
Scaffolding offers assessment to clarify expectations
Rubrics and standards of performance are defined up front. This avoids confusion about what will be assessed at the end of an activity.
Scaffolding points students to worthy sources
Scaffolding can reduce wasted time and keep students on task because faculty can identify "quality" sources on the web for students to use. Depending on the instructor, this list of sites could be exclusive or simply a starting point for further digging.
Scaffolding reduces uncertainty, surprise and disappointment
All distracting frustrations with site design should be eliminated.
Scaffolding delivers efficiency
By eliminating boredom and irrelevance, scaffolding grants a sense that a larger amount of work can be completed in a shorter time.
Scaffolding creates momentum
Rather than dissipating, the energy and focus of the class is channeled and concentrated. This accumulation of insight and understanding becomes a driving force for further study and research.

Strategic design, is concerned with the overall structure of the educational product set and how it will relate to the inner workplace user-system. It applies in different forms to most of the products and processes that educational designers tackle: curriculum specifications; assessment; teaching materials; professional development processes and materials; building system capacity in various ways. Typically strategic design involves not simply the end-users (e.g. teachers and their students) but all the key communities involved who will affect decisions on the framework within which the users work – school leadership; school system leadership; politicians; parents; and various other professions, such as assessment designers and researchers.
Strategic design includes such things as:
=Identifying a specific opportunity for improvement;
=Selecting a set of improvement goals;
=Designing the overall structure of a set of tools that can forward them;
=Choosing or designing a model of change (whether, for example, comprehensive or more specific; one-step or gradual; curriculum-led, assessment-led, or professional development led) along with the phases, pacing and timing of implementation;
=Identifying the resources that are needed to do the job well (how much design effort, trialling, implementation support, and of what kinds), and the compromises that are acceptable;
=Recognizing and questioning constraints from the client’s grand strategy (generic performance goals; alignment; model of change; top-down v proposal driven); and
=Advising the client on the likely implications of their various decisions, including their likely unintended consequences and uncertainties – and suggesting changes.

Strategic design principles

Some of the most significant strategic design principles are underlined below:
System awareness: Seek to understand the dynamics of the system to improve, in all its interacting parts, and use it to guide the strategic design of the innovation.
Realism: Study the system as it is, not as it is intended to be, and the forces that shape decisions and actions of all the key groups, from politicians, parents and the media to teachers and their students; don’t assume resources that have not been available without valid assurances that they will be.
Targeting: Be clear and specific about improvement aims, and the groups of users you are designing for – development should reconcile the goals and outcomes for those groups.
Alignment: Try to ensure that the set of tools and processes you develop form a coherent whole, in themselves and in interaction with the rest of the system – all the key players should be aware and “on board”.
Robustness and flexibility: Since unexpected shocks to your plans are inevitable, try to design the set of tools and processes so that various elements can function independently in a range of contexts of use.
Consensus building: Seek consensus on goals and entailments prior to design and throughout the development process – a profession that speaks with one voice has more influence on policy than one where diverse opinions reach policy makers. Consensus does not just happen; it often needs to be built through explicitly designed processes.
Communication and marketing: Be aware that any large-scale impact of your work will be influenced by the public, guided by the media. Improve your communication skills with these groups, and your network of contacts.
Space for excellence in tactical and technical design: Work to retain as much space as possible for the creative talents in your design team, and the systematic development that refines the products – good strategic design is worthless without them.
“We must educate our masters”: Seek to make policy makers, funders, and designers aware of the crucial role strategic design will play in the success of the enterprise in turning its goals into large-scale impact.
Big challenges need big teams: The range of skills needed to carry through a design and development program, with high-quality in all its aspects, needs to be reflected in the design team – often, particularly for large scale developments, only a multidisciplinary team can understand and work with the various communities that will interact with the product.

Improving strategic design

Long term goals

Recognition by policy makers that education can and should become a research-based field, like health and safety  where:
  • Insight-focused analytic research on working systems is the best route to diagnosis of problems and their likely causes;
  • A long term agenda for improvement is complemented, as in other fields, by a regularly-reviewed sequence of steps along the way with sensible timescales;
  • Good engineering, integrating insights from prior research and development, design research, systematic development and evaluation in depth, will produce the most effective solutions;
  • Strategic design of their initiatives should be as professional as the tactical and technical design already (sometimes) are, using the same methodology; and
  • Much better evaluation of products and initiatives in education, covering in some depth both the various outcomes and the conditions under which they were achieved.
For this it is needed:
  • More researchers choosing projects and using methodologies that provide the in-depth evaluative evidence that policy makers need on products and processes that are widely available, yielding reliable evidence on “what works, how well, under what circumstances”; and
  • More people trained in engineering research methods to design and develop robust solutions.
The master will emulate science education in developing:
  • Effective machinery for building a consensus on what is needed, and the steps along that road, leading to;
  • Unified recommendations for innovation that reflect government realities.

Medium term goals

Recognition by policy makers that (as in health care, for example):
  • High-stakes targets (i.e. tests) for (teachers and schools) can distort priorities, ensuring that the implemented curriculum in most classrooms is no better than what is tested. The good news is the substantial evidence that better tests can be an effective lever for improvement.
  • What is achievable within the timescale required and resources available is:
    • An empirical question that can only be reliably answered by imaginative design, systematic development and evaluation in some depth;
    • Usually much less than is desirable – or is promised by “experts” who are keen to please government but have no valid evidence for what they recommend; and
    • Will require funding with at least a few–year timescale, involving competitive design groups and independent evaluation with agreed criteria and methodologies (c.f. NICE in health care).
    • After so many failures from “obviously needed” reforms, there is political capital to be gained from a sensible research-based approach.

Short term actions

Over the next year or two, there must be a move to strengthen the case for the above goals by:
  • Identifying examples of successful design, then studying the various aspects of their strategic design in some depth, and in comparison with parallel innovations where these are available;
  • Identifying, and specifying in some detail, alternative models of change, analyzing their key features and the expected cost-benefit analysis;
  • Refining and strengthening evidence of payoff from giving medium-term support to high-quality design teams with proven track records in well-defined areas; and
  • Developing effective channels for communication and influence on policy makers.

CRITICAL THINKING-AN ASSET FOR THE MASTERAL PROGRAM


Critical thinking is a very delicate problem especially in Health and Safety. Old and outdated solutions, yet in place must be upgraded, wrong decisions taken by managers must be corrected. Critical thinking is vital for a Health and Safety practitioner, at every level, more on a post-graduate one.
Education research has demonstrated what great educators have always known: students acquire and retain knowledge most effectively when they must understand new information well enough to apply it to new situations, or to reformulate it into new ideas and knowledge. Fostering critical thinking skills is becoming one of the chief goals of education, particularly at the post-graduate  level, where a variety of pedagogic techniques are being used to develop critical thinking skills in students.
These skills are often developed in health and safety students through project-based learning, in laboratory or field settings. In single laboratories or longer-term projects, students are asked to acquire basic knowledge and understanding, review literature, develop research skills, gather, analyze, and evaluate data, and ultimately to synthesize this complex information into an advanced understanding.
It is important that web resources developed for educational use reinforce this kind of learning. Many resources simply display information on pages with the only student interaction being a click on the "next" or "previous" buttons. Even if these pages are nested in cutting edge technology, these experiences are analogous to lectures which have been shown to fail in teaching advanced thinking skills There are four fundamental features of natural human learning: Learning is goal-directed, learning is failure-driven, learning is case-based, and learning best occurs by doing.
 Critical thinking is a complex idea. It can mean many different things to different people depending on their point of view. In Health and Safety critical thinking means also to sustain the own critical opinions and to argument correspondingly them with facts.

STRATEGIC AND TACTIC REQUIREMENTS


STRATEGIC REQUIREMENTS


The main strategic requirements from a  H&S post-graduate or master  program, in our opinion, are presented in the table below.
No
Main strategic requirement
Observations
1.
To be able to develop and implement in his own enterprise or at a third party a risk assessment system
Risk assessment is one of the first steps in H&S
2.
To be able to develop and implement an efficient safety culture at the workplace
The competence to implement commitment to safety by employees and employers
3.
To be able to develop and implement safety best practice procedures in his/hers own domain of expertise

4
To be able to develop and implement  a functional  risk/safety management system
The essential goal of the masteral program
5
To be able to develop and implement a functional occupational health management system
If required in the masteral program.Generally, occupational health is approached by work medicine or hygiene post-graduate programs
6
To be able to develop and implement a functional  work environment management system
If required by the masteral program. Some of the programs have an environment component, others have just the safety and health component.



TACTICAL REQUIREMENTS


Tactical requirements are presented in the table below, together with the strategic requirements from which they are derived.


No
Main strategic requirement
Main tactical requirements

To be able to develop and implement in his own enterprise or at a third party a risk assessment system
To identify known risks
To identify new and emergent risks
To be able to evaluate risk probability using statistical data;
To be able to evaluate risk gravity (severity) and location of injuries;
To be able to develop and interpret risk based scenarios;

To be able to develop and implement an efficient safety culture at the workplace
To identify safety culture actual state;
To identify safety culture gaps;
To be able to develop safety culture materials (leaflets, newsletters, training manuals, etc.);
To be able to imprint safety commitment to employees and employers;
To assure the horizontal cooperation in safety between employees and the vertical cooperation between employees and various management levels (to the top management)

To be able to develop and implement safety best practice procedures in his/hers own domain of expertise
To be able to identify workplace safety problems
To be able to search and find or develop efficient solutions to these problems
To be able to sequence and explain these solutions in succesive, logical steps

To be able to develop and implement  a functional  risk/safety management system
To be able to identify the curent state (or the inexistence) of the risk management system inside the enterprise
To be able to check the gaps in the risk management system
To be able to check the efficiency of the existing risk management system;
To be able to design/redesign a functional risk management system for a workplace/multiple workplaces/the enterprise
To be able to develop/re-develop a functional risk management system together with all its procedures and documentation
To be able to implement at the enterprise level  the developed/re-developed management system;
To be able to certify the risk management system by the recognized standards (ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001)


To be able to develop and implement a functional occupational health management system
To be able to identify the curent state (or the inexistence) of the occupational health  management system inside the enterprise
To be able to check the gaps in the occupational health management system
To be able to check the efficiency of the existing occupational health management system;
To be able to design/redesign a functional occupational health management system for a workplace/multiple workplaces/the enterprise
To be able to develop/re-develop a functional occupational health management system together with all its procedures and documentation
To be able to implement at the enterprise level  the developed/re-developed  occupational health management system;
To be able to certify the occupational health management system by the recognized standards (ISO 9001 , OHSAS 18001  and others)


To be able to develop and implement a functional  work environment management system
To be able to identify environmental possible problems from the design stage of the process/activity;
To be able to design/redesign a functional work environment  management system for a workplace/multiple workplaces/the enterprise
To be able to develop/re-develop a functional work environment management system together with all its procedures and documentation
To be able to implement at the enterprise level  the developed/re-developed  work environment management system;
To be able to certify the work environment management system by the recognized standards (ISO 9001 , OHSAS 18001  and others)


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