Journals on Workplace Learning Environment
Task: To successfully complete this subject, students must present an e-portfolio with:
A Landing Page with an engaging ‘About me’ section, and menu that helps a reader navigate through the portfolio, and includes an approved resume1 and sample job applications
A Learning Journal with no fewer than 6 dated journal entries (minimum 350 words each)
A minimum of 3 of these journal entries should reflect upon the student’s learning in relation to some of the themes introduced in the tutorials. Students should choose themes that particularly interest them, and must include at least some of the different levels of reflection identified by Ullmann (2017), including reference to the required reading. Where appropriate, journal entries should include photographs taken by the student to illustrate situations or events that have been recounted. At least one of these journal entries needs to include a record of attendance at an industry event with a ‘selfie’, and an analysis of what occurred and how the student can leverage this experience to develop their connection with the engineering industry in Sydney
Two journal entries about the feedback the student has received in two professional assessment activities. These two professional assessment activities will be held during tutorials 4 and 6 and will involve students giving feedback to peers on their work, and receiving feedback from peers about their own work. Students who absent themselves from these professional activities (without formal grant of special consideration via Student Services) will have 20 marks deducted from their final portfolio mark for each absence (as per Late Penalty clause c). There are three parts to each of these professional assessment activities:
i) Professional Assessment Activity 1
a) Students will need to have made substantial progress in the employability sections of the e-portfolio, including their landing page (with About me, navigating menu, and resume), and at least 3 journal entries by week 3,
b) Students will need to make their e-portfolio available to their Peer Review Group by Friday of week 3. They will need to review their peers’ portfolios and prepare feedback for their peers using the Feedback Sandwich/PIP Model. This feedback needs to be provided in person in tutorial 4.
c) Students need to write a summary of the feedback they have received and their plans for responding to that feedback and include this in their Learning Journal.
ii) Professional Assessment Activity 2
a) Students will need to have made substantial progress in the completion of their e-portfolio, including their sections on workplace health and safety, making ethical decisions in complex difficult situations, making work plans and working with a supervisor, with critical incident/photo journal entries by week 5.
b) Students will need to make their e-portfolio available to their Peer Review Group by Friday of week 5. They will need to review their peers’ portfolios and prepare feedback for their peers using the Feedback Sandwich/PIP Model. This feedback needs to be provided in person in tutorial 6.
c) Students need to write a summary of the feedback they have received and their plans for responding to that feedback and include this in their Learning Journal.
A summative journal entry on the subject as a whole and how the student has met the Subject Learning Objectives (SLOs).
Journal Entry 1: workplace learning environment
The workplace learning environment experience and outcomes could be positively doubled if the employees have the attitude to learn in their work environment. The organizations have developed various schemes and training programs to give their employees better perspectives of work procedures. The objective for the learning during a specific teamwork or project can elevate the quality and outcome of work. Learning develops the skills that are instrumental in increasing personal as well as organizational advantages. The employee gets the scope to improve his abilities and skills, whereas the organization could get competitive advantages through effective learning schemes in workplaces.
The organizational learning could be executed through various ways. According to Collin (2002), the employees could learn while doing the work, they could learn by evaluating their work experience, there could be learning through interaction and co-operation with colleagues, they could learn by taking something new, from extra contents of works and also they could learn from formal education. All these methods of workplace learning increases the competence of the employee.
The learning process in the early time of career is an important aspect as that influences the person for his future betterment. As opined by Eraut (2007), the main work process and learning activities in the early time of career are based on the work place environment. The learning in the workplace need to be done according to the objectives of the work. This process could be completed and exercised through self learning from new work experience, at the same time by the help of colleagues.this is for the development of the career of the employee that a positive attitude and open mind set should be involved. This will help in developing the skill sets and competencies.
Workplace learning environment could help in developing the professional identity of the engineers. Leadership has an important role in forming this identity as well. The new engineers must be associated with a persistent academic program. Recognition within the community of engineers is another aspect (Schell and Hughes, 2017). The recognition from the engineers will increase the confidence in the new engineer and help in boosting his engineer identity. Most important is developing the skills of an engineer by constant urge of learning and knowledge.
Journal Entry 2: Effective team Membership
The professionals need to work effective as part of the team within the workplace learning environment. In every organization, the teams are becoming the unit of every work projects. The teams are important to complete a work within the time limit and the creativity is also increased when the work is done through team work. Therefore, it has become necessary for any employees to develop the skills to work within a team.
The organization could play an important role in training their employees to work within a team circle. The training programs that are introduced in the company could be based on team management skill settings (Blair, 1991). The leader of the team needs to have certain trait to manage the team properly. When, on the other hand, the employee needs to understand the various levels of teamwork and be a part of it.
The engineering students start their training as a team member while working on the small group assignments in their respective colleges. This undoubtedly establishes the base of their teamwork training. The underlying principles of team membership are to be discussed among the students. The practical experience of working in small teams for projects could also shun the effective teamwork in a student of engineering.
Developing the identity of the engineers depends on the teamwork and leadership aspects. The appreciation and skills that the engineers could earn form their teamwork experience would help them in developing better career paths. Communication plays the central role in effective teamwork. The members of the team need to have the level of interpersonal communication to process the information and gain the feedback.
The flow of data and objectives of the work is narrated by the leader in the workplace learning environment so that each member of the group could understand their individual work role. There might be some dispute among the team, but, at the same time those could be solved through good communicative approaches. The strong sense of belonging and commitment towards the team and work are the base of effective teamwork for an engineer and any other professionals.
Journal Entry 3: Workplace Supervision
The supervisors have an active role in facilitating the learning experience of the learners. In a workplace learning environment, there are leader and supervisors who provide support for the new employees. The development of competence among these employees has a good deal with the supervisor’s contribution. The supervisors and leaders (Hughes, 2004) provide this learning environment. They have the capacity to influence the mind of the learners and make them capable of the work they are assigned to do. The employee may have the skill set and training to accomplish a work, but the work could not be successfully done without the right supervision.
The supervisor in the work place needs to be proactive and interventionist. There could come various situations, where the situation could demand the supervisor to play the role of a facilitator. The work is complex and need experience to be executed. The supervisor need to challenge the competence of supervise to bring the best from that employee (Morrell, 2013). The main job of a supervisor may include- providing opportunities for work, providing the employee with needful resources and tools, helping them in understanding and setting work goals, holding the accountability of their responsibilities and helping in improving their performances.
The role of the supervisor is more indirect than the direct one. They influence the mind of employees to let them achieve higher performance goals. Therefore, it is necessary for the career development of an employee to have a facilitator completely could help him in realistic ways (Morrell, 2013). Finding out the most effective process of supervision is a tough work. The supervisees could also talk to their supervisors to get individual agreements. As opined by Hughes, (2004), selecting the appropriate topic for the session need to be done in a strategic way. Keeping account of the supervision work within the workplace learning environment could be done by the supervision regularly. The review of the supervision work will give him the idea of the changes that are to be incorporated in his next schemes.
Journal Entry 4: How to keep others safe in the workplace learning environment?
Occupational safety is a major aspect of the workplace learning environment structure. The workplace safety measures have changed a lot in past few years. The occupational safety has become an integral part of the work place environment. The profession of engineering often seems to have instances where the injuries and workplace hazards are common. The organizational managements need to focus on the various aspects of workplace hazard safety for the sake of their employees (Hofmannet al. 2017). Other than the management, the employees could also take some initiatives and help each other to be safe in their work environment.
The risks that are associated with a workplace need to be understood in details first. The employees, being aware of the risks, could only take preventive measures against them. Leaders could again play an important role in managing the safety measures (Kouabenanet al. 2015). It is seen that proficient leaders have shown their tendencies to take extra precautions against the high-risk prone work places. There could be a number of variance of risk in the workplace. It is the responsibility of the leader as well as the individual employees to understand the risk proportions and take safety measures.
The employees could help each other in being safe in the workplace environment by exercising the effective workplace safety policies. The knowledge of the hazards could be communicated along the co-workers. This will help in developing prevention attitudes among the employees. Hofmann et al. (2017), the workplace learning environment culture need to be building in a way that encourages safety and risk management attitudes among the employees. The high-risk prone workplaces could have extra safety instructions that are provided by the authority for the employees. The first aid kit and other medical assistance need to be prepared so that those could be accessed immediately after any accident.
Some researches has done regarding the relation of the individual personality and safety in work place. The result shows that the individual characteristic does have a link with the awareness of the risks and safety measures up to some extent. The supervisors and their stands in safety behavior could prove effective in successful management of workplace safety. Organizations could also provide some basic safety training to avoid necessary workplace hazards and keep their employees safe.
Journal Entry 5: Making Choices in Complex Situation
The decision-making processes in a complex situation takes into account a number of ethical and non-ethical factors. Making the right choice in the complex situation could increase work productivity, reduce problems in behaviors, increase the motivation among the employees, and is helpful in developing work place freedom.
The organizational setups have certain limitations and therefore, the choices that are made in this set ups are not quite easy to make. According to Dowling et al. (2013), the decisions influence huge number of employees and need to be taken in the ethical way. The work ethic must not be compromised and the best solution to the problem is needed to be executed. The main barriers in making the effective decisions are preferences, limitations in the decision-making process and expression of the autonomy. The leader must not be influenced by these obstacles within workplace learning environment to take the ethical decision for a specific situation. The business operations need to be done in the set ethical grounds. These ethics and policies are set by the organizations itself to manage the situations of ethical dilemmas.
The business industries operates in a larger ethical context, therefore, the flexibility of bending an ethical ground is less in organizations. The choice making in any critical situation need to be done for the greater good. The persons involved in the situation are to be given their due importance. Some conducts might be there that are permissible in certain contexts, but that must not affect the workplace work culture (Longstaff, 2017). Many practical instances could be found where the company has implemented their policies for the specific situation. The main objective is to overcome the situational dilemmas by making the potential decision.
The decision-making will not work if the implementation of the change is not done properly. After making the choice, it has to be implemented in a effective way. It is the responsibility of the leader to have a review of the situations after the choice making. Engineering, as a profession is based on many such ethical issues (Longstaff, 2017). It is the duty of an engineer to understand the dimensions of these ethics and use them accordingly whenever the situation demands.
Blair, G. 1991, ‘Groups that work’, IEE Engineering Management Journal, vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 219-223.
Collin, K. 2002, ‘Development Engineers’ Conceptions of Learning at Work’, Studies in Continuing Education vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 133-152.
Dowling, D., Hadgraft, R., Carew, A., McCarthy, T., Hargreaves, D. and Baillie, C. 2013. Engineering your future. An Australasian Guide. 3rd Ed. Wiley, Milton, QLD. Workplace learning environment pp. 191-197
Eraut, M. 2007, ‘Learning from other people in the workplace’, Oxford Review of Education vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 403-422.
Hofmann, D.A., Burke, M.J. and Zohar, D., 2017. 100 years of occupational safety research: From basic protections and work analysis to a multilevel view of workplace safety and risk. Journal of applied psychology, 102(3), pp. -375-388.
Hughes, C. 2004, ‘The supervisor’s influence on workplace learning’, Studies in Continuing Education vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 275-287.
Kouabenan, D.R., Ngueutsa, R. and Mbaye, S., 2015. Safety climate, perceived risk, and involvement in safety management. Safety Science, 77, pp.72-79.
Longstaff, S. 2017. Everyday Ethics. The daily decisions you make & how they shape the world. Ventura Press, Edgecliff, NSW. [pp. 1-37]
Morrell, M. 2013. You Deserve Good Supervision! A Guide for Supervisees. Margaret Morrell & Associates, Fullarton, SA. [pp. 9-14]
Schell, W. and Hughes, B. 2017, ‘An Approach to Understand the Role of Identity in Engineering Leadership’. 2017 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition. Workplace learning environment