Now showing 1 - 10 of 30
  • Publication
    Evaluating safety and risk awareness in contact sports: development of a quantitative survey for elite rugby
    (Sociedade Portuguesa de Segurança e Higiene Ocupacionais, 2022-04-29) ; ;
    Introduction: Considerable media attention has recently focused on an increased number of professional athletes that experience forced retirement due to severe injuries. Despite the highly completive, physical nature and tolerance of risk in contact sports, no Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) awareness-related measurement instrument exists in professional sports. As part of a wider project, this study aimed to develop a survey instrument to evaluate risk and safety awareness in sports, taking elite rugby (union) as an example. Methods: Based on the identified conceptual framework incorporating theories from the OSH discipline, the survey has been updated for three rounds according to the feedback from a multidisciplinary team of experts before the pilot test. The pilot test data (n=46, response rate 76.7%) were imported to SPSS for analysis and validation. The survey's key themes included health outlook, tackle behavior, awareness of risk acceptance, reasons for risk-taking, and safety consideration for other players. Results: Overall, the survey has a high internal consistency (Cronbach's α= 0.742). Some sections of the survey require a further factor analysis, such as awareness of risk acceptance during the competition (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy - KMO <0.767, p<0.001) and reasons for risk-taking (KMO<0.604, p=0.003). Some sections require a larger sample size for further validation, such as safety consideration for other players (KMO<0.481, p<0.001). Conclusion: This is the first survey that evaluates players' safety and risk awareness in rugby drawing upon OSH concepts. Such a survey has the potential to improve athletes' health and wellbeing by customized educational intervention, which could point the way forward for its application in a wider range of sport settings internationally.
  • Publication
    Online Learning - Levelling the playing field to achieve Sustainabel Development Goals 4 and 5
    Invited Keynote Address Striving to be responsive to ever changing societal demands, new information, classroom dynamics and to students¿ expectations and learning issues is a common difficulty facing teachers globally. The time honoured methods of teaching are being tested by growing class sizes, diminished budgets, timetables and teaching days extended to accommodate students travelling to avail of good teaching. Intermingled with this is the aim to ensure gender equality within education in order to provide all young men and women with equal opportunities. Online teaching can be integral to managing these issues and advance the achievement of both the sustainable development goal for quality education (SDG4) for all as well as gender equality (SDG5). Teaching is not merely about lecturing to students and providing them with information to soak up like a sponge; it is about introducing fundamental theories, ideas, and empirical evidence to students in a way that they can integrate this information into their own life and professional experience. To many teachers using online learning pedagogies to achieve this can appear daunting. Student learning environments can either enhance or hinder so ensuring a safe and stimulating learning space can encourage active participation. Online learning environments must also aim for active participation otherwise students disengage and the opportunity from online learning is lost. Communication and active participation by the teacher is essential to maximise the benefits of online teaching. In order to encourage critical thinking in online students, utilising online discussion fora that have the purpose of creating a space and time for informal, open-ended thinking to occur facilitates this. The asynchronous components of online learning does not inherently prompt students toward enhanced critical thinking, but it can serve as a vehicle for the encouragement of increased engagement and critical thinking. Critical thinking requires a consistent emphasis placed on the discussion fora through the posing of questions and ideas to provide purposeful engagement amongst the students. This means that the teacher must be present in the fora to stimulate discussion, but cannot control it. Online teaching can also be 'blind' to gender and age which allows for all students to achieve their learning outcomes without unconscious bias or even prejudice from their fellow students or their teachers. Anonymised online interaction and assessment strategies can allow all students to flourish and learn at their own pace while the teacher has no preconceived notion of the student. This is critical for ensuring equity and removal of bias from assessment strategies.
  • Publication
    Climate change awareness in a developing nations' second level education system - Tanzania
    Even if stringent global emission reductions and mitigation efforts over the next few decades prove to be successful, global climate change appears to be inevitable. 'Adaptation' has therefore emerged as a key policy response to manage the impending impacts of climate change. Adaptation is particularly relevant in the context of developing nations, as climate change impacts pose a substantial threat to their continued sustainable development. Adaptive capacity is affected by many socio-economic, political, and gender-based factors, and may be enhanced by climate change awareness. Ascertaining levels of climate change knowledge in different sectors of society is therefore an important aspect of dealing with future climate change, in order to understand how best to improve climate change awareness and adaptive capacity. Elevating such awareness in society as a whole can be facilitated by focusing on the education system, and particularly by enhancing school students’ knowledge and understanding of climate change. It is essential to determine students’ conceptions (and misconceptions) of climate change, while also focusing on curricula content and on secondary school teachers’ knowledge of climate change, in order to plan and design effective instruction that builds on these concepts. The Climate Change Awareness and Education Programme (CCAEP) aims to ascertain secondary school student teachers, teachers and students’ prior knowledge of the causes and consequences of climate change, and to determine the existing status of climate-change related material on the secondary school curriculum in Tanzania with an initial focus on climate change awareness among secondary school teachers. The research outputs currently envisaged will make it possible to develop or update a climate change knowledge instrument for proposed inclusion in the school curriculum. The programme is aimed to progress between 2014 and 2017. CCAEP Stage 1 data gathering commenced in May 2014 and focused on the knowledge and awareness of trainee secondary teachers at Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE). Students at DUCE were surveyed using a questionnaire to determine climate change knowledge, awareness and emotional response to climate change. The questionnaire was adapted for Tanzania from a range of established and validated climate change awareness instruments.
  • Publication
    Considering Occupational Safety Awareness in Elite Rugby: A Game of Near-Misses
    (Journal of Interdisciplinary Sciences, 2021-05) ; ; ;
    Rugby players often experience risk exposure that has potentially very serious long-term health implications. Safety and risk awareness in rugby has thus become crucial especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to advance understanding of safety awareness within elite rugby by exploring relationships between players, their behaviors, and the role stakeholders play in support and management. This study explored safety awareness in the context of elite rugby by utilizing document analysis, and an ethnographic approach incorporating observation, and semi-structured interviews. Participants were from rugby teams in Ireland. Observations occurred between August 2017 and May 2018, focusing on training sessions and competitive games. Data gathered were analyzed by thematic analysis using software NVivo. The findings identified three key themes: first, the risk to rugby players long-term health consequences tended to be underestimated; second, risk may be aggregated by players’ risk-taking behavior as a result of social exposure from stakeholders; third, safety practices in rugby, such as injury reporting, need to become more proactive rather than reactive. The dilemma that rugby players who prioritize their performance have to compromise their health-and-wellbeing can be ameliorated by safety culture cultivation, initiating with an encouragement of open communication on safety concerns.
  • Publication
    Safeguarding, Supporting, and Supervising Gender Minority Students in Institutes of Higher Education: Information, Advice, Considerations, and Reference Materials for the Inclusion and Protection of the Trans*, Non-Binary, and Gender Non-Conforming Community
    (National LGBTI Federation, 2020-06) ;
    "I'm fearless." Above is a quote from one of 123 survey respondents from the inital project when asked about areas of Dublin where they felt unsafe. Gender minority students possess a unique courage in the face of numerous obstacles, increased politicization surrounding gender issues, and misinformation or sensationalism. However, these students generally have the same goals and dreams as every other student: to receive a quality education that will alow them to develop and achieve career goals, be treated with dignity and respect, and fully partake in student activities.
  • Publication
    Far from Home: Life as an LGBT Migrant in Ireland
    (National LGBT Federation, 2018-11-08) ; ;
    Data from Burning Issues 2, Ireland’s largest national consultation of the LGBT community to date, suggested that more needs to be done to make Ireland a welcoming place for LGBT migrants. To explore this issue further, the National LGBT Federation sought and received funding from the Community Foundation for Ireland to carry out research on the experiences and needs of LGBT migrants in Ireland. The research element of this project was designed in collaboration with a diverse group of people who have migrated to Ireland and identify as LGBT. A survey with a mix of open and closed questions was distributed online and 231 people contributed to this project by completing it. A wide range of nationalities were represented, with participants from 48 different countries. The most commonly represented countries were Brazil, the US, Poland, the UK and Germany. Twelve participants were living in direct provision centres at the time. Roughly 90% of participants identified as cisgender (205), with 10% identifying as transgender (20). They shared their experiences of coming to Ireland, making social connections, stigma, integration and acceptance. The participants also discussed their health, the level of opportunity they felt they had in Ireland, and whether they planned to stay long-term.
  • Publication
    Determination of long-term spatial and seasonal distribution of contaminants in an urban river and estuarine system using polarographic techniques.
    (DCU, 2006-09)
    The Tolka River and Estuary, Co. Dublin, Ireland, is a typical Irish urban river and estuarine system. It has significant metal and organometal contaminant loading. A one-month rapid sampling and analysis regime was devised to optimise riverine and estuarine sampling techniques and to determine seasonality of contaminant distribution. Over a thirty-month period contaminant concentrations within the surface sediment of the aquatic system were analysed from twenty sampling points. Six metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) and an organometal (TBT) were analysed using Differential Pulse Polarography for thirty and nineteen months respectively. Organic Matter, Suspended Particulate Matter, pH, Salinity and metal content of the water column were also analysed. This thirty-month assessment created an extensive database to determine spatial and seasonal distributions of contaminants over time and various in situ environmental and anthropogenic parameters that influence these distributions. It was found that contaminant concentrations within surface sediment are highly variable over a twelve-month period and that environmental conditions and anthropogenic sources of contaminants are the key factors affecting spatial and seasonal distributions.
  • Publication
    Across the Spectrum: Attitudes towards Minoritised Genders and Sexualities in Ireland
    This research had three main objectives: 1. To assess attitudes towards different groups of people within the LGBT+ community, including Lesbian women, Gay men, Bisexual people, Trans people, Non-binary people and Intersex people; 2. To assess beliefs about gender and sexuality; and 3.To assess support for policies relevant to, and supportive of, the LGBT+ community. These objectives were addressed in a descriptive study using a mixed-methods cross-sectional survey design. Over 700 participants from the general public completed the online survey. Ethical approval to conduct this research was granted by the University College Dublin Human Research Ethics Committee. The results of both the quantitative and qualitative data suggest a broad acceptance of LGBT+ identities and a desire to not judge, categorise or prescribe how LGBT+ people live. However, the clear difference in support for identities, beliefs and policies that pertain to groups that are often seen as more normative, specifically Gay men and Lesbian women, compared to those that may be perceived as more transgressive of gender norms, such as Bi, Trans, Non-binary and Intersex people, is a central theme in this report.
  • Publication
    Occupational safety and concussion injury awareness of Irish professional and semi-professional footballers
    In recent years, there has been a growth in research examining concussion and injury risk in football, with national football associations and leagues in countries such as the Netherlands and Italy undertaking much needed research. Studies of high-school, university-level and professional football players also now exist in the recent literature. However, the significance of parameters such as player age and professional occupational status remains unclear. Moreover, despite a growth in studies examining concussion-reporting rates and practices with professional rugby players in Ireland, studies examining the occupational risks associated with injury and concussion in particular amongst Irish semi-professional and professional footballers are lacking. Finally, research examining personal safety awareness and attitudes towards safety management amongst professional athletes has been limited. In response, the purpose of this study was to investigate safety awareness and concussion-reporting frequencies of a cohort of Irish professional footballers.
  • Publication
    Using Structured Debating for In Class Assessment
    (UCD, 2017-06-09)
    Structured debating was incorporated into the in-class activities and assessment strategy of a postgraduate module in order to improve student’s communication capabilities and awareness of the value of self-reflection. The debate process was designed using the principals of universal design to provide all students with an equitable chance of participation.