paper-11 - The use of a blended learning model to address...

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diverse student group Anne Drummond (Academic Director, Centre for Safety and Health at Work, School of Public Health and Population Science) University College Dublin Helen Guerin (Director, Audio Visual Centre), University College Dublin Introduction The term ‘blended learning’ describes a solution that combines several different delivery methods and the blended learning method is considered to be one of the most innovative and pedagogically sound methods of integrating information and communication technology in teaching and learning (Owston, 2007). This paper describes a blended learning model, initially developed in 1993, which has been used to deliver a University Certificate programme to address the needs of a large diverse student group in the Republic of Ireland. It outlines the blended learning model employed to deliver the University College Dublin (UCD) Certificate in Safety and Health at Work, detailing the novel requirements of a particular student cohort, which resulted in the evolution of the programme from its initial seed funding from the European Community, its collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and key national bodies and other stakeholders. According to Fullan (2001), sustainable innovation in education depends on the support and commitment of all stakeholders. It describes the experience and the pedagogic and technological developments in the use of a blended learning approach to achieve the concurrent delivery of the programme to over 450 students annually, learning in 19 student groups, located at 14 institutions throughout Ireland. Background In the late 1980s and early 1990s, European legislation drove Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) awareness across member states. Since 1989 the implementation of European Directives (European Commission, 1989), designed to prevent accidents and illness in the workplace, has resulted, in Ireland, in OSH framework (1989; 2005) and detailed (1993, 2002) legislation that is applicable to 100% of the workforce, in contrast to previous legislation, which was applicable to less than 20% of the workforce, and was primarily confined to heavy industry, construction and organisations and sectors that came under the remit of the ‘Factories’ legislation (1955; 1980). It was, and is still, recognised at national level in Ireland that widespread education of managers and of employees has a pivotal role to play in raising awareness and in implementing best practice in occupational safety and health management throughout the country (Barrington, 1983, Health and Safety Authority, 1992). By the early 1990s, programmes of study, at Diploma level, designed to educate and train occupational safety and health professionals were well established in the major cities, and short ‘hazard-specific’ courses were available throughout the country for employees. There was a major shortfall, however, in programmes designed to address the needs of key employees (specifically safety representatives) and middle and senior management. 1
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paper-11 - The use of a blended learning model to address...

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