Learn to to identify, select and apply knowledge to appropriate perform workplace tasks in any industry.
- Through a PBL (problem-based learning) study program this and other workshop projects will develop a "real world" relevance in your overall learning experience.
- Self paced, 100 hour study program.
There are 3 lessons, each involving a PBL project, as follows:
1. Workplace Tools, Equipment and Materials: Identifying and describing the operation of tools and equipment used in the workplace; routine maintenance of tools and equipment; identifying and comparing materials used in the workplace; using different materials to perform workplace tasks.
2. Workplace Skills: Determining key practical skills in the workplace; identifying and comparing commonly-performed workplace tasks; determining acceptable standards for workplace tasks; implementing techniques for improving workplace efficiency.
3. Workplace Safety: Identifying health and safety risks in the workplace; complying with industry WH&S standards; developing safety guidelines for handling dangerous items.
How the Course Works
This course involves undertaking three
hypothetical PBL projects, based on the industry you work in, or intend
to work in.
What is PBL?
Problem-based learning has been defined
as: “A learning method based on using problems as a starting point for
acquisition and integration of new knowledge.”
- A PBL relies on problems to drive curriculum.
- A PBL project relies on real-life problems, where students act as professionals.
- PBL problems are not intended to be precise – they are
not intended to generate neat answers. In your analysis to find the
answer, you will gain essential problem-solving and critical-thinking
- There are never a single correct, or incorrect
solutions. Problems are designed so that different appropriate answers
might apply – there is never meant to be just one solution.
- Teaching staff are meant to act as
facilitators or coaches, rather than someone to provide you with
"answers". They help you work out how to find the answers, but they do
not give you answers.
- Students are provided with guidance but
not answers – they are given guidance in techniques that might be used
for problem solving.
- Assessment is based upon
performance according to the specified guidelines, not upon giving
correct answers. Students are expected to perform within given
parameters. Over performing can be just as bad as under performing. In
the real world; success comes from doing what you are asked to do;
rather than doing too much. Consider: If you asked a contractor to do a
10 hour job, and he turned it into a 30 hour job -even if the work was
much better, you might not be as happy as you would be if he did what he
said he would do.
Learn to Get Appropriate Staff with Appropriate Skills to Get a Job Done
It can be difficult to find and choose employees to work in the enterprise you manage or own. Making a hasty decision can be worse in the long run because of the costs which go into advertising, interviewing, recruiting and training. Also, if employees are salaried, severance pay will be needed if you make a mistake and need to fire the employee. There are then further costs of finding a replacement. Even freelance workers and contractors can take considerable time and resources to hire, and train if necessary. It is therefore important to give the process considerable thought.
The first step is to sit down and consider what you really want from this person. For a start-up you need people who can help to get the business up and running, rather than CEOs and higher level management. You also need each employee to make the most use of their time since the emphasis is on helping the business to get a foothold in the market or industry in which it operates. You therefore need all hands on deck and can ill-afford to have anyone who does not pull their weight. What organisational psychologists sometimes encounter in larger organisations is a phenomenon called 'social loafing'. This refers to a tendency by some workers to slacken off their effort because they believe that others will compensate for them/do the work for them.
The right type of employee or contractor needed might have:
- Broad general skills - highly specialised staff may not be needed till later
- Specific or specialised skills to do a very particular job - may be needed immediately, or the employee may be able to learn these on the job
- Flexibility - the hours needed for work might be part time or casual
- Autonomy - it may be preferable to have workers who can work unsupervised
- Willingness to job share - often staff members may swap roles and all be able to undertake all roles
- Good interpersonal skills - staff and management generally have closer working relationships
The second pbl project in this course takes the student on a journey, through a hypothetical workplace scenario; considering issues like these and confronting the prospect of decisions that need to be made. The whole experience is akin to what may happen in a real life work situation - in any industry.
Progressing through this type of journey has been found to be a profoundly effective in preparing people for similar real life challenges.