The mine site I work for is Vietnamese owned but has been designed. built and runs to Australian standards. So to ensure all portable equipment on site is safe to use we undertake testing and tagging of the equipment. As with ICT’s the world has moved on from the old manual way of testing and technology has delivered to us electrical folk the “portable appliance tester” (PAT). Which as the name suggests tests appliances using one little portable black (or in our case – grey box) Over the last couple of days I have been conducting on the job training with some of our tradesmen and trainees.
Most of the staff do not speak or read English well but after spending some hours with two of the trainees I was confident enough to let them operate the PAT without me being present all the time. They accomplished the first tasks with out any issues when I went to check on them but later in the afternoon I was informed there was an issue with the PAT.
They had managed to delete all the information in the tester by setting the tester back to factory default settings even though a warning appears in red writing before confirming that you want to set the tester back to default. Not only had they erased all their work but also the previous days work and all the set up for various appliances.
I wasn’t happy as I had spent some time setting up the tester and at also thought it was a poor reflection of my training. But then I started to think about adult learning techniques and that many adults learn best when the activities are relevant to the experience, retain knowledge and concepts when they are engaged in their learning and the learning process is active (Sierra Training Associates, 2007, Knowles, 1970). On reflection of my training for the day and the previous day I thought I had adopted all of the above points during the training sessions and came away thinking more about the positives that could come out of the situation.
1. A good learning for the trainees involved but others as well as they discuss through their trainee network what occurred
2. Gave other trainees the opportunity to set the appliance tester up.
3. Gave me the opportunity to set the tester up so it does not happen again.
At least they now know that default is the same as format disk!
Sierra Training Associates (2007) Adult Learning Theories and Practices. Retrieved 28th February 2014 at http://www.sierra-training.com/articles.htm