Develop your ability to plan, implement and assess management strategies, applicable to your industry sector.
This course provides the same outcomes as would normally be achieved by attending face to face or residential workshops. By utilising a PBL approach to learning which has been tried and proven over many years, we have been able to refine this module to create a very effective program that can relate to any discipline in a specific and very practical way. In short, it works and it can be undertaken from anywhere in the world, with the student working in one to one liaison with an academic member of our staff.
There are 3 lessons in this module as follows:
1. Evaluating Workplace Efficiency
2. Human Resources Supervision
3. Plan Workplace Projects –cyclical or finite.
- Identify efficiency problems that occur in the production process at a workplace, develop efficiency improving procedures, and follow up and improvements’ assessing procedures.
- Demonstrate skills in supervising the performance of team work and individual workers to attain appropriate performance standards.
- Demonstrate skills in staff and teams motivation.
- Demonstrate skills in workplace project planning, either cyclical or finite.
How the Course Works
This course involves undertaking three hypothetical PBL projects, based on the industry you work in, or intend to work in. (eg. if you are a nursery worker, you must base your project on a small nursery; or if you work in administration, you will base your project on your sector of the business community.)
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.”
*PBL relies on problems to drive curriculum.
*PBL relies on real-life problems, where students act as professionals.
*PBL problems are not 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 skills.
*There are no 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 facilitators or coaches, and must resist providing solutions (students solve the problems).
*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, not upon giving correct answers.
PBL Project Stages
There are commonly three main stages in working through a PBL project:
1. Define the Problem
You need to first grasp the nature and scope of a problem. At this stage you will develop a hypothesis for the question. A hypothesis is an explanation for observed data/information that still has to be tested. For example, you might be given a list of symptoms that a person is suffering from and told that they think they might be suffering from schizophrenia. Your hypothesis might be that the person is suffering from schizophrenia.
2. Deal with Relevant Information
You need to access, evaluate and select what is most relevant, then utilise what is selected.
*Access – You can access information via internet searches, online libraries or traditional text books and journals.
*Evaluate – Students must consider the following about the information they have found:
- How up to date?
*Utilise – You will then utilise the information you have gained and use it to answer the question.
At this stage, you might change your hypothesis. Using the previous example, you might find that the symptoms do indicate that the person might have schizophrenia.
3. Develop a Solution
You need to construct and present a solution. This will require decision-making, followed by developing detail within the decision and then communicating the solution (eg. perhaps putting together a paper, report, multi media presentation).
Example of how a PBL Project might get started:
A project may aim for you to demonstrate skills in supervising the performance of team work and individual workers to attain appropriate performance standards; and to Demonstrate skills in staff and teams motivation.
In an attempt to achieve that aim, you might work through a hypothetical situation as outlined below:
Consider: You are a manager in one section or department of a big company (relevant to your industry sector). You want to evaluate the performance of your team and of each individual member, and at the end of the process to suggest changes that will improve your section’s team work, workers’ performance and work satisfaction.
You went to a conference on teams’ motivation, and you realized that your team is not working at peak performance, and you want to know why. You have some ideas, there have been changes recently in the company in other sections and yours has been stable for a long time. Performance looks the same as usual, but people don’t look really motivated and some of them are not compromised with the team.
You suspect there are several different problems. Your initial assessment agrees with this, but to confirm this you will need to undertake a thorough investigation of the team’s performance and workers satisfaction and collect further evidence to make decisions. You want also to involve your staff in the process.
Your job is:
1. Demonstrate 5 different methods of evaluating workers’ performance in two different role play situations.
2. Develop 3 different methods to discuss with your staff communication, motivation and work satisfaction improvement tools.
3. Discuss in a 5 minute verbal presentation, alternative ways of implementing specified changes in a workplace.
4. Demonstrate the initiation of a person to perform a work task which they are unfamiliar with; including instructing the person how to perform the task to an acceptable industry standard, then directing and correcting the person as they perform the task.
5. Perform one specified role play, in the role of a supervisor, demonstrating supervisory tasks.
With this in mind, you create a team that involves yourself and your tutor.
- You are in the hypothetical role of the section’s manager.
- Your tutor is in the hypothetical role of a human resources consultant. You should approach your tutor in the same way that you would approach a professional consultant.
a) You must contact your tutor at least two times via phone, fax or email during the project, before attempting to commence the final submission. At each point of contact, you should ask your tutor three questions, and submit a brief progress report each week during the project.
You should be mindful that the hypothetical consultant (tutor) is both an expert but also one that charges by the hour, so the questions you put should be meaningful, designed to contribute toward achieving the stated project aim and, above all, should not be repetitive. Contact should be concise and time efficient.
b) You must prepare a survey form for recording the information you collect on workplace motivation, compromise and satisfaction in your industry sector. Use your form to survey six people. These could be from a real life situation or a hypothetical situation.