Portal, Research Study Are New Mining Efforts

The Center for Educational Technologies has put a special effort into both mining and workplace safety in recent projects. In 2012 we introduced the Active Training Portal for Mine Safety website. Developed through a $144,000 Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) grant from the Brookwood-Sago program, the Active Training Portal is developing, implementing, and evaluating a 16-hour train-the-trainer course that applies active learning to underground mine emergency prevention and preparedness. Active training, which turns the spotlight away from the instructor and emphasizes the learner, has emerged over time as a reliable method for enhancing understanding and retention of information, critical thinking, and decision making.

During a presentation at the 2012 TRAM/National Mine Instructors Seminar sponsored by MSHA, Hope Coffield, manager of our Emergency Preparedness and Worker Safety Training Program, introduced emerging training materials and resources to apply active learning to underground coal mine emergency prevention and preparedness. Her session, co-presented with curriculum writer Manetta Calinger, provided examples of strategies for topics such as coal dust and ventilation hazards.

The Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is a partner on the Active Training Portal.

Mining Research
Another project is examining ways to improve how research on mining safety gets disseminated to the mining community. Dr. Laurie Ruberg, associate director of the Center for Educational Technologies, leads a research study titled, "A Systems Approach to Facilitate Effective Transfer of Recent Research Findings to the Mining Community." Thanks to a $148,823 grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health through its Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, Ruberg's team in 2012 systematically analyzed documentation of mining-related research and development. Her team is then trying to identify ways to better transfer the most salient innovations to those who can benefit from it most—the mining community.

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