Conference Presentation

Evaluating the impact of learning from incidents

EARLI 2017 | The University of Tampere, Finland | 1st September 2017

Learning from incidents (LFI) is a sub-section of workplace learning, where being able to evaluate the effectiveness of educational processes is crucial. LFI involves learning after an accident to ensure that similar events do not occur. Many companies invest substantial resources into LFI processes to ensure the lives of their employees are safe, hence it is vital to understand which of their interventions are most impactful. Assessment is a challenging topic in workplace learning, as studies have shown that employees’ learning is often generated during everyday activities, without employees knowing what they have learnt. While assessment of learning is vital to allowing companies to invest their resources wisely, there remains areas of the LFI process where no methods for evaluation exist.

A systematic review of literature identified 75 articles related to LFI as a learning process. Attempts in the articles to evaluate the LFI process were noted along with important aspects that have not yet been evaluated.

Assessments of the LFI process have taken several forms, such as modelling accident rates to understand if an incident prompts learning. Our review indicated that limited attention has been paid to understanding or evaluating learning on the job. At EARLI we will report the findings of our meta-review, highlighting methods that have been used to understand the impact of LFI interventions, with the goal of using the roundtable format to discuss ways of gaining insight into the effectiveness of LFI processes, particularly aspects where assessment has yet to be fully developed.

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