A. Stuart

Dublin Institute of Technology (IRELAND)
With the introduction of safer and more sophisticated wood working machines to the Timber Industry, one would expect accident levels to reduce. Contrary to this belief, the number of accidents is still higher than other manufacturing industries. This paper discusses the development and subsequent use of an e-resource, to emphasise the importance of machine safety to first year students on the B Tech in Timber Product Technology at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

The e-resource was developed within ‘Articulate’, a commercial, PowerPoint based authoring tool. Articulate allows the insertion of quizzes, interactive exercises and attachments to a PowerPoint presentation and publish it in a Web format. Once the development of the e-resource was complete it was uploaded to Blackboard where the students could access it.

The design of the resource was underpinned by the principles of cognitive load theory, aimed at reducing the cognitive load experienced by students during a practical demonstration. Throughout this research the student experienced a blend of different learning environments, ranging from lectures explaining the mechanics and safety regulations associated to the machines, followed by a number of short quizzes and interactive exercises within the e-resource. This blend of lectures and reflective processes of the e-resource emphasised the importance of machine safety before the student receives a practical demonstration in the use of the machines.

This research is ongoing but with the use of an action research methodology, the research will evaluate the development of the e-resource through to its implementation and student interaction. Early results indicate that from both student and lecturer perspectives there are benefits. The e-resource assists the student to reflect on machine safety while also providing the lecturer with student results to demonstrate their understanding of machine safety from the e-resource quizzes, prior to the student operating the machinery.
keywords: e-resource.