Anniversary Book Project


Co-Construction of Knowledge Through Engagement Between Students and Teachers In an Industrial Training Programme.
By: Olufemi Olubodun Creative Commons License: CC BY Author contact:

Author Biography: I teach dental lab technology and education courses such as online facilitation, course development etc. I design courses for online environment using learning management systems like Fronter, Moodle etc. I am driven by the amazing possibilities 21st century technology provides for exploring and mitigating the present day challenges in education and day to day social life. I am an alumnus of University of Cape Town, South Africa, Agder University College Norway, Lagos State University Ojo Lagos Nigeria, United Nations University’s Global Virtual University Japan and I hold postgraduate degrees in the following areas: Online tutoring, Course development, ICTS in education, and Educational Technology. I am an Instructor at the University of Lagos, Lagos. Nigeria. Research interest includes the use of internet tools and media for online vocational education training, curriculum development, and instructional design for vocational education training.
This paper examined digital and paper logbooks and found out that digital logbook presents more opportunities for students to represent their learning experiences during industrial training programme than paper logbook. This was done by searching the Internet for relevant examples and by looking at paper logbooks from schools in Nigeria running dental technology courses and from other parts of the world. Industrial training is an out of the school training that could also be described as internship, workplace training, housemanship and community immersion etc. The experiences of dental technology students while on industrial training at our dental lab were also examined. This paper proposes digital log book (using a combination of blog and twitter) as a better alternative to the usual paper format logbook. Class or subject area: Technical and Vocational Education Training Grade level(s): Post Secondary Specific learning objectives: • To understand industrial training and the use of paper and digital logbooks. • To understand types of logbook and their uses • To present a novel digital logbook.

Activity Summary

Introduction Co-construction of knowledge in an industrial training setting involves the students and industry supervisors. This presents opportunities for teachers and students to interact more productively through the use of tools and equipments at workplace. Industrial training helps connect school knowledge with real life experiences in the industry. Industry in this context could mean a manufacturing plant, a laboratory, surgical theatre, medical and dental clinic, engineering workshop etc. The use of tools, equipment, and materials for training, production and supervision is common in industrial training. However, the focus of this paper is to examine the use of logbook to connect school knowledge with real life experiences during industrial training. Industrial training provides a learner the opportunities of connecting the knowledge of things taught in the school with real life experiences and hence develop the needed competences for a better career future. Objectives 1. To understand industrial training and the use of paper and digital logbooks. 2. To understand types of logbook and their uses 3. To present a novel digital logbook. Industrial Training Experience and the Use of Logbook for Supervision. Industrial training especially those that demand the development of skills require the involvement of teachers and their students in knowledge and experiences sharing. Instructors perform practical sessions on the fields or at work places in order to impact student learning experiences. In Nigeria we called our industrial training for vocational education Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), it is for the development of technical skills so as to make students job-ready and to develop manual dexterities that will make them function in their chosen field. Usually, courses like engineering, dentistry and medicine, and some artisans’ training employ industrial training method to let students find the connection between school knowledge and field experiences from more experienced people who are on the field such as surgeons, technologists, technicians, etc. Industrial training places could be in the hospitals’ surgical theatre, engineering workshop, laboratories, industrial plants etc-these are places where ideas and innovations met and are incubated and bred by the students and their teachers through diverse learning activities, by multi-tasking and multidimensional interactions using multimedia facilities. It is a place where mentor/ mentee relationship is fathomed. This is essential for many a reason among which is to bridge the gaps between school theories and on the field practical knowledge that requires interaction with tools, techniques and materials. The normal practice is usually to expose students to practical know-how as the students watch while techniques are performed by field supervisors. Subsequently, when the supervisor is satisfied for example that manual dexterity in the handling of tools and performance of technique have been established students are allowed to carry out procedure which usually progresses from simple to complex levels. This is exactly what we do with dental technologists on Internship and on SIWES programmes at the dental laboratory jointly run by the Lagos University teaching hospital and the college of medicine of the University of Lagos Nigeria. I believe this is what obtains globally. Although this is usually an unstructured training programme as there are no outlined course contents and curriculum available to guide the SIWES programme. However, on a daily basis as schedules of work are made which are primarily dictated by the tasks of the day derived from job requisition

from the dental clinic, students are expected to state in their logbook various activities performed and experiences gained while watching what others (supervisors) are doing or while carrying out tasks assigned to group or individuals. Tasks of the day, in the case of undergraduate dental technology students are defined in the job requisition form from the dental clinic which presented treatment cases of diverse simplicities and complexities. This includes fabrication of different dental prostheses for correction of oral maladies. Students learn from these tasks and grow in experiences as they perform tasks assigned to them (under watchful supervision) or through demonstration by a more knowledgeable person. Students take time to recall their experiences and document them appropriately in their logbook but only by writing and drawing as it is traditional with paper format logbook but unlike blog+twitter digital logbook which allows them to take a picture or record a video and audio of their learning experiences and upload in their blogs and tweet them to their teachers back in the school, and friends and supervisors on the field who may be interested and may later look at them and subsequently make comment and may also re-share. Contents of a digital logbook could therefore be assessed progressively and that means progressive assessment student’s skill development. In a paper logbook students are limited to representing details of activities and experiences by writing and drawing. This limitation does not allow students to give more details as in video and audio all of which are possible with digital logbook (blog+twitter) that is being proposed in this paper. There are gaps in that dental technology students keep logbook and do not share with fellow students. This is not supposed to be so as industrial training should encourage participative learning. They do this in order to be seen to have done better in keeping records of daily activities in the dental lab than fellow students. I also observed that those that share what they have at all do so with close friends only while some are just non-chalant about diligent record keeping. As good as it is to keep record of activities in a book format it restrict access by supervisors back in the school until the end of the programme but it would have provided better opportunities for impacting students’ learning if digitised. It would have been better if teachers back in the school could have access to student logbook while on the field so that they could participate in the whole process by adding value to the experiences student may be having on the field. Digital logbook helps supervisor detect failure by students to make daily entry and to ‘punish’ carelessness. One critical issue is that in most cases paper logbook records are not subjected to critical review that involves the teacher and the students at the end of the programmme and it is also in doubt if they are ever used to gauge students’ level of skill development or if they ever contributed to the overall assessment of students’ performance. A digital logbook will however give teachers the opportunity to have timely access to students’ performance and provide feedback as soon as possible as there will be no hiding places for negligence. There are a number of limitations with paper logbook which only allows text and diagram entries, but entries could be enriched with video, audio, and pictures if digitized. These categories of resources (video, audio, and pictures) could not be kept in a book format logbook as we have today. I also do think that supervision is limited to direct industry supervisors rather than encourage inter departmental contribution to knowledge which could be achieved if a digital logbook is used. I therefore reasoned that a blog and twitter will be useful in this situation. Although blog has been put into diverse uses in education and training not any from my searches has been mentioned in the

use of it as logbook for recording of practical oriented training during industrial training or internship. Undergraduate dental students in our college keep logbook and most often for a little carelessness or for tight schedules of lectures and clinical activities they are in tatters. A digital log book will offer answers to many bugging questions like this on the best ways field experiences are constructed, incubated, bred, kept and shared. For instance a student will readily keep a photograph picture of clinical activities in a digital log book or a dental technologist could upload a lab procedure rather than to only describe it in a paper logbook. This will encourage co-construction of knowledge during student-student and student-instructor interaction. This will make huge contributions to the overall experiences of students and make supervision continuous and in-dept. How should this digital logbook idea work? Obviously it is not clear in the literatures if a blog has been used in combination with twitter as a digital logbook but a lot has been written on the use of blog for other educational purposes as personal diaries, classwork record and for other forms of collaboration. This blog+twitter digital logbook idea should work with any blog account for which free account could be obtained from any of the websites that offer free account for a user e.g. Google blogger and edublogs. Google blogger is recommended as a twitter tab is readily available below every post for ease of access by users to disseminate information through his network. Network could be limited to the school community which could be done in the blogger privacy settings. Although the same is available with other blogs but Google blogger is unique in that for every post there is a web link that could easily be shared across many networks and other networking sites like Google+ that has a record of millions of users across the globe. Google blogger provides enough space for users free of charge. A blog could be accessible through a phone or hand-held devices like iPhone and other computer tablets to enable students share and work on the go and enjoy the benefit and convenience of working at spare time thereby converting spare time to gainful use. Diverse forms of multimedia resources could be made with phones these days and entries could be made into a blog with them as well. Individual student should open his blog account; give it a suitable title with the college programme title and off he goes with keeping record of his activities while on an industrial training programme and this could be exported to school website and be kept for life. Video, audio, and textual files where necessary could easily be uploaded with a phone connected to the Internet. Phones are very cheap these days and cheap ones have camera and they are mostly Internet ready as well. Therefore, there is little to worry about except: • Limited Internet access in some places • Poor signals that may impede speedy upload of files • In poor countries phone could still be an extra cost that parent may find to be a burden • Power problem is an issue as electricity is not available every time for students to power their phones and devices. • In poor countries as well as developed countries not everyone could manipulate phones to the extent that is required to access and work with a blog. Students need extra skills to be able to use blog aside from the burden of class work. But these are skills which when developed help students to fit quickly in the twenty first century world of works. Why should twitter be included in this exercise? A tweet is a short message that includes web links and other media through which a student could disseminate quick information to his network. So as soon as an information is uploaded in his digital

logbook he could add a few words about the upload and share it in his network. So a twitter provides several opportunities among which are quick share of information that could direct a receiver to a destination (in this case digital logbook) where more detailed information could be obtained. This indeed could be done through other social media but it will be better to take the advantage of the massive patronage and ease of information dissemination that twitter users enjoy. Summary A combination of blog and twitter has been suggested for use as digital logbook as against the popular book format which has a number of limitations earlier highlighted in this paper. This is a novel idea which I wish to use in the coming year as our University (University of Lagos, Lagos Nigeria) enters a new academic session in October 2012. However, I welcome news about the successful use of it in practical terms from around the world. Suggestions for research 1. What is the contributions digital logbook could make to the improvement of student learning experiences. 2. What contributions does digital logbook make to creation of open resources? 3. In what ways does the use of digital logbook contribute to student –student and student-teacher collaboration and learning? 4. Comparative studies on digital and paper logbook.
Bibliography 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

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