Finding a Starting Point
The employees are flown into this remote mine site, where they work a one week in and one week out schedule. The instructor works a two week in and two week out schedule in order to be able to meet with both groups of employees. The Learning Centre is complete with computer assisted learning technology, which helps the instructor assign homework for the week that she is on site. After all, these volunteer learners are virtually a captive audience and given this opportunity to prepare for advancement, it was assumed that the motivation to learn was ever present. It was while he instructor was on site. In fact, as the instructor prepared to leave the mine site at the end of the two week shift the participants were always excited and optimistic about all that was going to be accomplished before the next meeting. Each time, however, that the instructor returned she was greeted with looks of guilt on the faces of the participants and little evidence that the Learning Centre had been used to any great extent. It seemed that the motivation of the learners had wavered while the instructor was not on site. Moreover, many of the learners forgot how to do the assignments even though they had gone over a number of examples while he instructor was on site.
Trying to rekindle this motivation each month was becoming frustrating to say the least. Therefore, after a year of considering various solutions to the problem, the introduction to action research techniques proved to be a good way to find answers to the following question:
Developing an Action Strategy
The company had implemented an irregular flight schedule for some of the management team that was essentially a Monday to Friday routine. Therefore, the possibility of changing the instructors work time to a similar type of schedule seemed to be an avenue to address the loss of motivation of the learners while he instructor was away for two weeks. It would have the effect that the instructor was on site more of the time, thus increasing learner motivation. As a result, an arrangement was made to have the instructors schedule changed to accommodate a more pervasive presence on site. This meant that the instructor would still spend at least two weekends per month on site, as the weekends are a very productive time at the Learning Centre. Since the objective of the action strategy was to ensure that the learners were provided with as much time with he instructor as possible, this appeared to be the best proactive approach to the concern.
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