I visited a construction site with my professor Enad which is located in Oxford. During my visit to the construction site, I almost fell down and felt the importance of the health and the safety procedure which is necessary to be followed for each and every individual who is working and visiting a construction site. In order to take the precautionary measures, there is a definite need for a person to wear safety helmets and safety shoes. When I was previously working, I did not pay much attention to the health and safety equipment, however later I felt the need to follow the necessary procedure in order to keep myself safe from any mishap.
The interesting part of the incident is that previously I used to be careless of the health and safety related issues in the workplace. Whereas, the feeling of the importance of the health and safety procedure struck my mind only after I stumbled upon an object at the construction site. One thing that surprised me was that the careless attitude of mine suddenly shifted to a more cautious attitude. The sense of a probable harm and danger suddenly changed my attitude towards the workplace hazards. I previously used to give less emphasis to the various hazards that were prevalent in the workplace, however, after visiting a construction site my perspective and mentality have completely changed.
In our life, we spend a significant amount of time in groups of one kind or another, from the beginning of our life our family is a particular kind of group, our friends, and our workplaces. All of these may offer the opportunity to improve our skills, ways of learning and the social interaction. Also, it helps to improve our knowledge by learning from each other. According to (McCorkle et al. 1999; McKinney and Graham-Buxton 1993), team assignment and group work can be beneficial in gaining team skills, problem-solving and the communication skills. For the people how will work in the construction industry working as a group is one of the basic things in our field and every now project we will have new group members may be it the first time to know and work with him. I did not pay any attention for that in my previous experience in the university or the work but after the second group work in my master, I changed my mind to know how to deal with this situation especially when you have group members from different backgrounds and different languages.
As a master degree student in the department of construction management, we have an assignment for every module. Some of these assignments individual and some group works, in our department, we have a lot of international students which make the communication very hard for these students. In CEM202 construction project management, I had group work with five students from different backgrounds and most of them didn't speak English as a mother tongue. This assignment was marked 35% of the overall mark. This group was not effective and we got 70% in this group because some of the group mates did not do their work effectively maybe because they didn't understand what should they do. However, I am one of these people who didn’t speak English as a first language but I try as much as I can to ask and understand what I should do before I start work in my part. It was the first group work for me with these group mates so I had no any information about their attitudes, skills and the ability of works.I feel disappointed because it was the first assignment and I want to get a good mark from the beginning. Also, I felt so angry because that was the first assignments and the first impression about us and it should be good. In addition, this assignment was not a hard assignment to achieve the high mark.
Nowadays, the demand for teamwork has increased to a great extent in the business and at the same time, the stakeholders and the employers are asked integrate the exercises related to the team building into the curriculum. This is done to help a student learn about the leadership, communication, and teamwork. The experiences that I have received from the group work has helped me to deal with a different kind of the situation and also when I dealt with the different people in different scenarios. I have learned to become more flexible and now I make sure that each and every person in a group knows what they are doing. According to Lovitt and Goswami (1999), one very common belief that exists in a group is that misunderstandings within a cross-cultural group occur due to people's inability to understand the native syntactical and phonological constructions. It has been mentioned by the authors that non-native speakers that are able to write English are undermining the cultural complexity of a language. I also learned a lesson that I should increase my communication skills so that I can communicate with the international people which will help me understand the other members during work. Working in a group will provide an important chance of knowing my mistake and hence will further help me in correcting and bettering myself.
Assignments are the most important part of both the learning and the teaching process, assignments are a kind of a measuring tool through a student's level of learning can be measured. Quizzes and the exams are certainly the useful and favorite ways of assessing a student, however, the out of the class assignments that are either written or in another form also offers a similar kind of approach to the learning of a student. Like creating the means test is necessary, the creation of the excellent assignment also help in learning from a student's end.
When I came across an assignment which is assigned to me by my professor. I was at first very confused and puzzled about the way that I must proceed with. I was given a construction project management assignment when I was doing the assignment I came across several findings and which can be designated as incidents. When I was going through the assignment, it presented me some challenges like the what must be the ideal objectives of project management, the modern management innovations, risks associated with a project, organizational structure, professional construction management and the management rules regarding the project management. Whereas, when I further went with the different literature search, I accumulated different sets of information which I have mentioned below.
The incidents are nothing but the certain aspects of the learning which I found as highlighting things in my assignment. The main component of the assignment was to find and investigate the better alternatives that will reduce the conflicts arising due to the resource constraint. The main objectives according to me which I summarized as stated below:
The next major understanding of mine is the modern management. Modem management describes the usage of the old technologies and the tools and implements the same into a new area of management. A further detailed study of the modern management process yielded the following.
Modern management can be described as an amalgamation of the different types of constituents which is mentioned before and it includes the special knowledge domains, project management, general management. The implementation of the modern management techniques into the construction has proven to be efficient and effective.
The next vital part which I have identified or learned is the risk and is an important part of any project. If a participant of a project takes the risk then it shows the eagerness to compete, however, there is a bigger chance of bringing the whole project down. There are greater chances of risks involved in a construction project and the list of risks are mentioned below:
A majority of the risks lot depend on the ability of the upper-level managers and the project owners and how they are addressing a risk. Nonetheless, when a decision is made regarding taking a risk, the whole management must work together in order to make the project a success. I have learned that in order to make a project successful, there is a definite need for the project manager and the project owners to take risks and make the constituents of a project work accordingly.
I have also learned an important factor in a construction project and project management is a company's organizational structure. There are various factors which are associated with the configuring and designing of a project and a lot depending on the organizational flow. The factors are as follows:
Professional construction management is another section of my learning which I have understood through the teams that specialize in the different types of construction activities like the construction, design, and planning. These management teams have the responsibility of contracting and coordinating in order to address the conflicts and thus making a project successful. Firms having a construction manager is a professional person who conducts the management of the construction. The various responsibilities of a construction manager that I have found are as follows:
Professional construction management involves big projects like the Alaskan pipeline project.
The assignment provided me an opportunity to conduct a deep research on the construction project management and I have found that there are certain rules which if followed can result in winning the project. The rules are as follows:
When I saw my construction project management mark it was like surprised because it expects more than what I got at this time I feel like I'm disappointed because It was the first assignment for my the master but after I read the feedback I fell shocked because in my country the pass mark for the modules is 70 but in the UK it is different system, after I started reading the feedback and know my mistake from the professor's comments on the work, it was easy to get higher mark if I had read the assignment brief (objective, aims and assessment criteria) and how it is important to ask the people how to gain experience ( professional) if you did not understand. It is important to follow the instruction when assignment is being carried out.
I did a thorough research of the literature and found that academic writing at the master level includes the qualities to plan, draft and revise the assignments according to the requirements of the assignment. The teachers especially focus on the certain criteria in order to evaluate the writing; vital components of the assignments; how the components are organized when the final work is submitted; the vocabulary and the grammar used in order to portray certain elements of the assignment. Considering the fact language of writing is the most important part of any assignment because it is only through the language that the information can be collated and expressed. Thus a port graduate assignment typically focusses more on the vocabulary and the grammar (Silvia 2007). There are certain guidelines that are provided for an assignment actual information. Information like the sufficient and adequate amount of background reading before performing the assignment; selection of a clear and relevant aim of the study; organizing and planning the whole assignment; clear depiction of the arguments, expressions and the thoughts; careful presentation of the diagrams and flowcharts; completing the assignment within the word limit. Balance in the academic writing is a key to getting successful and get more marks. Balance comes in two different senses like physically and intellectually. Physically means providing exact information which is evenly distributed, and intellectually means that an issue is dealt both sides (Silvia 2007).
Assignments always with a common structure called the introduction which provides the insights of an assignment with the introductory paragraph providing information of what the whole assignment is all about. Especially for a master's level project, the introduction needs to be more complex and more substantial. The introduction part also includes the main aim of the study and the major parts which will be discussed in the later part of the assignment. Within the academic writing, it is also necessary to acknowledge the sources from where the information is sourced. It is necessary to critically present a topic through an argumentative approach. It is necessary to add a reference from the sources from where the ideas and information are sourced is to acknowledge the authors. Another important part is to minimize the plagiarism, that is blind copy pasting should not be done as it is not allowed and is unethical in academic writing (Tuomainen 2016).
There are two theories which are can be actively linked to the learning and the understanding. According to the incident which I have mentioned, theories like cognitive theory and the behaviorist theories of learning comply with my understanding and the thought process. The behaviorist theory highlights a learner actually remains in a passive state and responds only to an environmental stimulus. A learner always initiates with a clean slate and in the later part, the behavior is altered by the negative and the positive reinforcement. Reinforcements whether negative or positive increases the chances of occurrence of an event. While the punishment both negative and the positive reduces the chances of the occurrence of the event from occurring again. Positive reinforcement can be attributed to the response towards a stimulus and the negative reinforcement can be attributed to moving away from a stimulus. Cognitive learning comes after the behaviorism. Ivan Pavlov is the famous psychologist who propounded this theory and the definition of this theory states that learning is a sort of acquiring the new behavior which is based on the environmental stimulus. The theory is divided into two parts: one is classical conditioning and the other is behavioral conditioning. Classical conditioning can be attributed as the natural reflex to an external stimulus. Humans are biologically wired and due to this reason, a specific stimulus will generate a specific response. Other types of examples of classical conditioning are the phobia of public speaking, fear of failure, anxieties, and irrational fears. Behavioral conditioning only occurs when there is a stimulus is reinforced. It is in a simple sense a feedback system. If a reward is attached to the learning process, then there is a high chance of doing the same task again (Fosnot and Perry 1996).
Accommodation application: When I was at the last week of the perception English language course the accommodation office send us to email to apply to new hall accommodation and how it is important to apply before the deadline. But I did not finish the application before the deadline.
From this incident, I came to know about the value of time. Everyone must respect the time because only when a task is finished within a stipulated deadline, the chances of the success of the task increases. Proper management of time is necessary for the construction project manager. Time management is a vital factor when a particular amount of time is allocated for the successful completion of a particular project. Time management is important because it contains the essential parts of a construction project like the development of a plan or a concept, execution and final completion of a project. Construction project managers also have the responsibility of assigning and allocating different tasks to the different people. Unable to complete a project within the stipulated deadline can lead to failure of a project and this lead to high losses from the end of the construction company and the owner of the project. Although there are other factors like mismanagement, lack of resources and finances, however, time plays a crucial factor here (Chan, Scott and Chan 2004).
Another incident which occurred along with the above mentioned incident is that, I found some of the workers are also working without wreaking the safety gears. Although, I realised the need of the safety gears only after I stumbled. I rather wonder how those workers will realize the same.
Construction and the construction sites are the most accident-prone jobs and it includes maintenance and repair of the infrastructures, roads and building houses. The construction site jobs include different types of the hazards associated with the certain conditions like equipment and power tools, dust, noise, excavation, height. The most common types of accidents that occur at the construction site are caught in between two objects, electrocutions, struck by a free object, and falls. With an increase in the construction work the proneness to the construction site related accidents. This valuable information is the base of my thinking and this is the main reason why I chose the health and safety as the prime area of discussion. The accidents that occur in a construction site occurs due to the construction failures that generally occur due to the construction-related failure and the failure of the implementation of the safety strategies into the workplace. Safety management in a construction requires a strategic management that will control and prevent the accidents from occurring (D?jus and Antuchevi?ien? 2013).
The particular aspects of this concept that I found tough for me to understand are that why there are gaps in the strategic management due to which the accidents still occur. Previously, I used to work and even after that I have not felt the urge to maintain a personal health and safety protocols. Only after the occurrence of an accident with made me aware and I felt the need for the safety shoes and the safety helmet. I considered the safety gear useful only after I personally felt the need of my life safety. I do not understand why the safety protocols are not followed prior to the occurrence of an accident. Only after the occurrence of an accident the awareness of a person suddenly changes. whereas, it is necessary for the people that work in a hazardous environment must follow safety protocols before performing any risky job. These perspectives are irrespective of the people that work construction site because there are different types of job that are more prone to hazards and accidents.
The observation of mine is that like me there are other workers who work in a hazardous environment without the prior and proper precautionary measures. These lack of awareness and sluggishness leads to accidents in the workplace which sometimes lead to fatal results. The concept of the occurrence of an accident can be positively linked with the Domino theory which says that 88 percent of the accidents that occur are caused due to the acts of the people which are unsafe and only a mere 2 percent by God.
According to the Domino theory, there is a five-factor accident sequence which actually helps in the initiation of the next step of an accident. The sequence can behold up as follows: social and ancestry environment; the fault of the worker; unsafe act along with the physical and the mechanical hazard; accident; injury or damage (Noor, Faridah and Sharifah 2015). Application of this theory can help in understanding how the accidents occur in a real-world setting. The rapid way by which the construction industry is constantly changing, this the associated risks, hazards are increasing as well as aggravating the working condition of the workers in a construction site. Accidents occur due to a combination of the random factors which are categorized as unsafe practices in the unsafe conditions. The executives of health and safety opine that human behavior is the main culprit in the 80 percent of the accidents. Several studies conducted over the accidents that occur due to the injuries due to the unsafe work practices instead of the unsafe working conditions. Whereas, there are other factors like the social and the organizational which also influence and contribute to the safety-related behaviors. The cause of an accident is a complex issue which is usually contributed by the factors that are the root causal agents of the accidents occurring at the construction site. To develop a critical relationship between the factors that are contributing the accidents are an effective way or accident mitigation or prevention. After conducting a literature review of the accidents that are occurring at a construction site reveals that a majority of the researchers conducted emphasize on the finding the cause of the accidents and also to categorize and determine the common type of the accidents that are occurring (Chi and Han 2013).
In order to identify the main cause of the accidents, it is essential to identify the underlying theories that highlight the cause of an accident. The models of an accident that emphasize on the cause of an accident also guide in framing the strategy for the prevention of the accident. There are several theories of identification of the cause of an accident and the most commonly used model are Swiss ‘cheese' Theory, Multiple Causation Theories, Heinrich Domino Theory. The different theories present different perspectives of an accident and are based on the different perception of an accident. The Heinrich's Domino Theory along with the other domino theories like Marcum's Domino Theory and the Bird and Loftus's Domino Theory. Each of the theory presents a different type of explanation for the cause of the accidents, however, all three theories have one aspect in common. All these theories predict the accidents as a chronologically placed sequence of events. If the events are not intervened, then there is an increased chance of an event resulting into an accident. Heinrich developed the domino theory in the year 1930 and this theory consist of five dominoes or steps which come together to result in an accident. The theory suggests that people when to acquiring the undesired traits or characteristics may commit the acts which are unsafe and result in injurious accidents. The highlighting point of Domino theory is that accidents occur due to the preceding factors and if the events that lead to an unsafe outcome can be intervened then there is an increased chance of accident prevention. Heinrich said that the unsafe actions of the worker contribute more accidents than the unsafe conditions. Therefore, the vital philosophy behind the accident prevention is to eliminate the acts of the workers that are unsafe and also the elimination of the factors that are result into injuries (Hosseinian and Torghabeh 2012).
Thus, it can be inferred that accidents in a construction site do not just occur due to the hazardous environment. There is a greater contribution of unsafe acts that contribute more to the occurrence of an accident. The vital lesson that I have learned from the theory itself is that there are several kinds of jobs that are hazard-prone, and the risks associated with a hazardous work give more exposure to a specific type of hazard. It is known that a specific risky work will be dangerous for life as there are risks associated with a particular type of work. Thus, even after knowing the risk, if a particular worker neglects and does not following the safety protocols, then it can surely attract accidents in the workplace. What I have learned is that personal safety is always a personal affair and it must be given more preference when working in a hazardous environment. The self-awareness regarding personal safety is an uncompromised affair.
When working in a group another incident occurred, I found that the when a group is formed, initially it takes quite a bit time for each of the members to get accustomed and know each other. But as the day progressed, the bonding between the team members grew stronger and along with it the capability of executing a task also improved.
In future, before starting work in a group we should have more time each other outside the workplace to be more relaxed at work. Also, we should make sure everyone takes the part which he can do and manage the time more effectively to finish earlier to have time to review each other works and correct it if there any mistakes. Also I will make sure to work as per requirement from the beginning everyone know which member he will review to make sure the work more than individual peer evaluation which will make the work more effective if there is any parts will be done by one person in the group and for the parts which will be done by more than one members we should have enough time to discuss it because that will improve the work and give every member in the group the chance to share their knowledge and learning from each other's . That will not improve just the work but it will improve our kills and help the work going smoothly.
Theories cannot be formed in an abstract way. In order to understand the natural occurrences, there is a need to focus on the underlying theory of each occurrence. If a person tries to find out the reason behind each occurrence, he or she might find one theory working for each concept. Heinrich propounded the domino theory, it states that accidents happen due to the chain of events and that occurs in a sequential way. One event triggers the next event and finally, it results in an accident. If a major factor in the unsafe act or an unsafe event can actually prevent the occurrence of an event. The unsafe acts can be defined as the careless acts, unaware of the environment and not taking the proper precautionary measures. There are 5 different metaphorical dominoes that contribute an accident like injury, accident, physical hazard, and mechanical hazard, fault of a worker, ancestry, and social environment.The 6th incident in relation to the site visit accurately follows the domino theory. The reason why accidents are so common in the construction sites can only be explained through the domino theory.
Bruce Tuckman in the year 1965 proposed a theory on the team development, which he later on added with the five stages forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. According to Tuckman, when a team is formed it progresses through certain stages or phases. The first stage is forming and in this stage, a high dependence is seen within the leader. In this stage, the members test the patience of the leader and the leader directs the team members. The second stage is storming and in this stage, it takes a long time to make a decision. Team members challenge each other with plenty of uncertainties and the team members get distracted due to the emotional and relationship issues. The leader here coaches the whole team. Stage 3 is called norming stage and at this stage, a state of consensus and agreement is reached and the team members respond in a well-coordinated way to the leader. The importance of this stage is that vital and important decisions are taken at this stage. A form of consensus is reached at this point and the team members work together and also engage in the social activities. The next stage is called the performing stage and the team is able to increase its strategic awareness. The focus of the team overreaching the goals and a sort of incompatibility starts to build up among the members and the leader. The fifth stage is called adjourning and in this stage, the group finally breaks up but only after a task is completed by the team successfully (Zoltan and Vancea 2016). The 7th incident mentioned in the group work can now be related with the Tuckman’s theory. The theory explicitly explains the reason why it took some time for a group or a team to know each other and get accustomed to each other. The group dynamics mentioned in the theory works accordingly with the incident that I have experienced.
Thus, from the above portfolio study, it can be concluded that reflective portfolio is the best way to express one's own thoughts and learning into a brief and presentable way. This study is based on a master's level student and the assignment discusses the construction project manager. The assignment demanded the citation of the different incidents and providing a linkage of each of the incident with a theory. The theories are referenced from the peer-reviewed journals. The linking of the incident with the theory help in establishing a connective bridge between learning and application. It also acts as a reduction of the gap in learning and understanding. Theories like behaviorist theory of learning, Domino theory and the Tuckman one of the highlighting events is the visiting to a construction site and further analysis of learning from it.Through the reflective portfolio, there is a greater chance of developing awareness critically through one's own skill development. From a reflective portfolio, a student can apply the theoretical knowledge on the different practical scenarios. Within the academic writing, it is also necessary to acknowledge the sources from where the information is sourced. It is necessary to critically present a topic through an argumentative approach. It is necessary to add a reference from the sources from where the ideas and information are sourced is to acknowledge the authors.Assignments are the most important part of both the learning and the teaching process, assignments are a kind of a measuring tool through a student's level of learning can be measured. . Another important part is to minimize the plagiarism, that is blind copy pasting should not be done as it is not allowed and is unethical in academic writing.
A reflective portfolio is a style of writing in which a student reflects the set of knowledge that a person has gained from the practical assessments. the major goal of a reflective portfolio writing is to get engaged with the fieldwork, it also showcases the ability of a student to compare the knowledge gained with that of the theoretical knowledge (Thompson and Pascal 2012). The comparison of the practical knowledge with the theoretical knowledge must finally present an opportunity for knowledge application. There are different forms of portfolio writing and it contains the online archive, documentary evidence and short writings, a notebook writing an extended piece of writing. One of the key elements of a portfolio is the revisions of the important consideration of the practice and increasing the self-awareness. A reflective portfolio generally contains different types of details like samples of the work, journal entries, critical incident reports, personal statement, evidence of the achievement. Reflective portfolios are helpful for the students to a great extent for the development of the critical understanding of the traditional assignments and academic development. Through the reflective portfolio, there is a greater chance of developing awareness critically through one's own skill development. Through the reflective portfolio, a student can apply the theoretical knowledge on the different practical scenarios. The portfolio helps in reflecting back on the insights, feelings, and thoughts which a student tries to develop a degree programme or a course programme. In order to write a portfolio effectively, there is a definite need to focus on writing an assignment comprehensively, critically, revealing the weakness, devising a developmental plan (Corley and Zubizarreta 2012). The purpose of the report is to reflect on the personal portfolio through a series of accounts with reference to the certain incidents as well as providing the opportunities that will translate the theory into practice. The assignment carries seven incidents which are to be reflected upon the site visits, group work, carrying out a specific assignment, feedback on the specific assignment and extracurricular activities. While the main purpose of the report is to develop a professional identity that will help in the career development. The report demands a reflection on the evaluation of the practice through witnessing and experiencing.
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