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Disseminating quality controlled scientific knowledge

Engineering a Grimm approach to enhancing student engagement with health and safety lectures: a new perspective on an ancient pedagogy

Author(s): Cliodhna McCormac | Graham R. Dale | Jolene Phair | Kevin McHugh | James Davis

Journal: Engineering Education
ISSN 1750-0044

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: undergraduate | safety | risk assessment | story | narrative | nano fiction | flash fiction

There can often be a pervasive negativity associated with the implementation of health and safety processes and there is a danger that it is being fed, not in the workplace but, rather, in the lecture theatres and labs of universities. The present communication casts a critical eye over the current approach to the presentation of health and safety information and casts doubt on the reliance of conveying its significance through isolated inductions and the provision of pictograms on lab scripts. An argument is made for the adoption of a more integrated approach to the delivery of the material such that greater engagement can be facilitated with more coherent and repetitive reinforcement of the central messages. A strategy for revitalising current practice is presented and relates to a rediscovery of storytelling as a medium through which to develop a more reflective appreciation of the need for safe practice. An innovative approach to the proactive involvement of the student body is presented that adopts the emerging literary techniques of flash fiction and harnesses eSerialisation to aid dissemination. The approach is eminently transferable across the life, physical and engineering sciences and can be implemented with little administrative or technological overheads.
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