My planned research paper will focus on answering the following research question: How might technology be used to ensure that mandatory, government regulated certification is achieved for volunteer firefighters who live in remote Ontario communities?

There are currently two theoretical frameworks that I am considering for my paper and those are Adult Learning Theory (ALT), and/or the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) since both seem applicable to my context.

Since being a legal adult is a minimum requirement to becoming a firefighter, utilizing ALT seemed like a no-brainer especially since the foundations of ALT revolves around principles such as task-oriented and problem-centred instruction, and accomplishing activities which utilize learner experiences while embracing mistakes (Knowles, 1984) which are central to firefighting certification.

As I am focusing on potential/current technology and how it may be utilized for certification of firefighters, TAM seemed appropriate since traditional certification of firefighters takes place through in-person, real time, practical training and testing yet in order for remote Ontario communities to have access to this certification there needs to be further vetting and acceptance of the perceived usefulness of using technology (Davis, 1989) especially when training for potentially life threatening environments.

Right now, it feels like I would need to incorporate both of these frameworks into my research as both the technology acceptance and adult learning are potentially key for successful implementation of remote certification. Further diving into these frameworks will need to be done but I am hopeful the rabbit-hole isn’t too deep. 🙂

References

Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly13(3), 319–339.

Knowles, M. (1984). The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species (3rd Ed.). Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing.