CICA Lift Supervisor Program Delivered in a New Format

In the February Tech Corner article, the CICA technical committee examined the causes of accidents and introduced the CICA Lift Supervisor program. A great number of responses were received from industry indicating support or interest in the program.

To deliver the program efficiently and effectively, the Level 1 – Lift and Transport portion of the program will be split into two parts: an online self-learning program and a face-to-face classroom teaching program. 

The online learning modules focus on reviewing the knowledge and skills learnt from the high-risk work (HRW) licence training, plus some basic crane related knowledge that is useful and practical for providing guidance as a lift supervisor for crane operations. 

Although HRW training organisations follow the content set out in the regulations, they may focus on some aspects and overlook others, or some of the knowledge learnt from HRW training may not be used frequently enough for the crew member to have consolidated the skills to be competent a few years after the training. It is imperative that the lift supervisor be very familiar with all aspects and provide guidance if required.

The online self-learning part includes five modules:

 Engineering principal basics

 Sling and rigging basics

 Different types of cranes and crane charts

 Specific lifting operations (powerline, workbox, marine lift)

 Transport safety

The face-to-face classroom teaching aspect incorporates three modules and a final assessment:

 Engineering calculations and rigging stability

 Crane loads and lift planning

 Complex lift (multi-crane/multi-hook lift, precast lift)

Program participants will be required to complete the online self-learning modules prior to attending face-to-face classroom teaching. 

An adaptive learning platform was selected over other formats, to deliver the online learning modules. 

What is adaptive learning?

Adaptive learning delivers a personalised learning experience that address the unique needs of an individual participant through just-in-time feedback, pathways, and resources (rather than providing a one-size-fits-all learning experience). Adaptive learning uses an AI algorithm to shape content to the needs of an individual student, just as an instructor does with students in one-to-one conversations.

Adaptive learning is conducted on a web-based platform, that contains all the important information related to the class and guides the participants on their learning journey. When the participant attends the class online, the platform software can make calculated decisions for the best course of action for the student. Each journey is personalised to the participant, based on their unique needs.

Why use adaptive learning?

The ideal candidate for Level 1 of the program is someone with C6 or above, HRWL crane licence and Intermediate Rigging Licence with at least two years of crane industry related experience. 

As mentioned earlier, HRW licence training can vary, and attendees will bring along different experiences obtained/learnt from companies or projects they have worked for/on before. For example, participant A may work for a crane company that mainly uses crawler cranes for civil construction projects, and participant B may work for a small crane company that uses articulated steering cranes for small lifts in the residential market. These two participants will have different levels of practical experience in many aspects including operating cranes, lift planning, rigging, knowledge, etc.

Adaptive learning will accommodate these by allowing the participant to work at their own pace, checking competency on concepts already mastered, while reviewing and practicing less familiar concepts at a slower pace. This style of learning also improves student engagement by providing lessons and activities that closely match their needs and readiness.

Conscious competence theory of learning a new skill – Gordon Training International

Adaptive learning is a new concept for the crane industry. The training received for most crane crew (HRW training) assumed that the starting point for participants was zero knowledge, and all participants are trained at the same speed. Adaptive learning gives participants a greater sense of autonomy as the learning plan is catered specifically for them.

How does adaptive learning work?

The four stages of competence, also known as the four stages of learning, as shown above right, relate to the psychological states involved in the process of progressing from incompetence to competence in acquiring a skill.  For example, a participant in ‘unconscious incompetence’ will respond differently to training than a participant in ‘conscious incompetence’. If the participant doesn’t know there’s a problem or a knowledge gap, they are less likely to engage in the solution. On the other hand, if someone is in conscious competence, they may just need additional practice rather than training.

The four stages of competence are core to the algorithms used in adaptive learning technologies. By knowing which stage a participant is in for a particular topic, an adaptive learning platform can select content on that topic that will help the participant uncover and recognise ‘unconscious incompetence’.

Using the previous example of participant A and participant B – before they start the training, participant A may not be aware that even though they have a licence to operate articulated steering cranes, the operating feature of such a crane is totally different from operating other types of mobile cranes (i.e., side slope derations). Participant A is at the ‘unconscious incompetence’ stage. 

Through the training and by answering questions asked by the software, the participant becomes aware of a skill or knowledge gap and understands the importance of acquiring the new skill, which motivates the participant to learn more in the relevant area. As training progresses and the software learns more about the participant through using AI algorithms, it will create more relevant content (i.e., demonstrate ‘step-by-step’ how to read a deration chart) to assist the participant to complete the learning stages. For participant B, on the job training may have put him or her at the ‘unconscious competence’ stage of the learning process for articulated steering crane operations, once the software identifies this, it will place more focus on other areas. 

What to expect next?

CICA is currently working with a world leader in the technology that hosts the adaptive learning platform and provides content production services, to develop the online part of the Lift Supervisor Level 1 Lift and Transport modules. The online portion of the program will be available by the 2022 CICA National Conference, where more information will be made available. 

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