Conference Paper

The importance of hands-on learning

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As trainers we must focus on the learners outcome. Hands-on learning allows students to incorporate what is being taught into real world situations, thus allowing the student to retain more information. By allowing students to interact with one another as in role-play, practical applications or simulations they can relate what they are learning to their own work environment. Plus it helps cement the concepts of the learning into their long-term memory. If the hands-on activity is positive they will use it as training tool themselves. Remember: ➢ Adult learners need to understand why they are learning a new task/skill ➢ Adults learn better through active experience than passive listening ➢ Adults learn better through interacting with one another than working alone.

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Conference Paper
In 2010 we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the invention of the laser. While we have come a long way with technology safety has lagged in one important area. Still today the most common laser incident is an individual (usually student) performing some type of beam manipulation and not wearing proper protective eyewear and being struck by a stray or direct beam. The LSO and their institution need to spend more time working on changing user’s safety culture, in order to make a significant impact on the number of laser accidents. This presentation will highlight some ways to change ones laser safety culture.
No laser user wants to sustain a laser eye injury. Unfortunately, many laser users, most commonly experienced researchers and inexperienced graduate students, are the injured person. More unforgiveable is the general acceptance of this scenario as part of the research & development experience. How do senior researchers, safety personnel and management stop this trend? The answer lies in a cultural change that involves institutional training, user mentoring, hazard awareness by users and administrative controls. None of these would inhibit research activities. As a matter of fact, proper implementation of these controls would increase research productivity.
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