The need to stay current in industry and engage in professional development has always been important for professionals. As fast-paced technological advances add continued complexity to socio-technical systems, the workplace has transformed to mandate the need for lifelong learning and professional development, especially in safety, health, environmental, and engineering industries. Given this, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has recently placed emphasis on these skills in safety and health education in Criteria for Accrediting Applied Science Programs (PDF) (Links to an external site.). Universities seeking or holding ABET accreditation are required to prepare students for lifelong learning. The challenge becomes how to define lifelong learning engagement and how to differentiate a graduate who is a lifelong learner from one who is not.
A graduate should be able to continue to develop as a learner and scholar in his or her professional and personal life. This assignment is designed to help you think about your long-term professional, scholarly, and personal growth plans, and the concept, application, and engagement of lifelong learning, specifically as it applies to safety, health, environmental, related industries, or personal growth in specified disciplines. In Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Development/GMU (Links to an external site.), he identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation. Mastery of each level can be demonstrated through certain actions, examples of which are given below and in the link above:
Level 1 – Knowledge: Students recognize or recall information (ex. repeat verbatim definitions or principles).
Level 2 – Comprehension: Students understand the meaning of information, so they can explain it to others (ex. share their own examples of how a principle applies in certain scenarios).
Level 3 – Application: Students use information appropriately to solve well-defined problems.
Level 4 – Analysis: Students deal with ambiguity in new, ill-defined situations by formulating models and seeing relationships.
Level 5 – Synthesis: Students combine elements in novel ways to generate new products or ideas.
Level 6 – Evaluation: Students judge the worth of ideas, theories and opinions, choose among alternatives, and justify their choice based on specific criteria.
- For this assignment, you will respond to the five categories listed below, in an APA formatted paper of approximately 500 – 1000 words (two to four pages of text, double-spaced). Your paper should address the five broad areas described below, but you may add your own ideas as well. In addition to content, your paper will also be assessed on organization, support, style, conventions, and citation/reference of outside sources. The attached rubric will be used to evaluate your paper.
- Broad topics to be included in your paper:
- Concept of lifelong learning:
- Define and discuss the concept of “lifelong learning” and the benefit to self and industry.
- Discuss your own philosophy on learning and apply concepts of lifelong learning.
As you progress through your profession or strive to achieve a new profession or personal growth, in what ways do you believe that your learning will continue?
Continuing education and professional development in specified industry or personal growth in discipline, either formal or informal:
Discuss appropriate continuing education and professional development (formal or informal).
Demonstrate a detailed understanding of relevant requirements and the benefit to self and industry. Provide examples of application.
- Application of lifelong learning to professional, scholarly, and/or personal growth goals:
Describe realistic professional, scholarly, and/or personal growth goals.
- Includes a thorough and thoughtful plan to meet these goals and the role lifelong learning plays in achieving goals.
- Self-assess the cognitive domain level achieved in this course or degree program.
- Using Bloom’s levels of cognitive domain in Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Development/GMU (above), rate your intellectual activity in this course or in your degree program.
- Explain your rationale for this rating.
How can you maintain or achieve a higher level of cognitive domain?
- Professional organizations and credentials:
- What professional organizations are available in your field or your community?
- What are the advantages of joining or disadvantages of not joining these organizations?
How might your involvement beyond basic membership apply to lifelong learning?
- Evaluate the different types of credentials (licensure, registration, certification, etc.) or further degrees that are applicable to your profession/discipline and how achievement of credentials support lifelong learning.