Asynchronous Training Scenario
In an effort to improve its poor safety record, a biodiesel manufacturing plant needs a series of safety training modules. These stand-alone modules must illustrate best practices on how to safely operate the many pieces of heavy machinery on the plant floor. The modules should involve step-by-step processes and the method of delivery needs to be available to all shifts at the plant. As well, the shift supervisors want to be sure the employees are engaged and can demonstrate their learning from the modules.
Before I propose a solution, I would want to find out if the actual cause for the poor safety record is related to employees not properly trained on how to safely operate the equipment. I would conduct a performance analysis and observe the employees at work using each of the machinery. I would also check out the work environment, each machine and conduct employee interviews to see what they can provide on what they believe is the cause of the poor safety record. Once the analysis is done and it shows that safety is a problem, then I can start designing a solution. Since the course would have to be available for employees on all shifts, I would recommend an asynchronous type e-learning course. I would set up a two phase training to ensure employees understand the safety procedures on each equipment. The first part would be the online training and the second part would involve an actual equipment hands on portion where the employees would demonstrate and be certified they can perform the safety procedures by an experienced shift supervisor.
The online portion would involve several modules of instructions on each piece of equipment. The modules would show each task needed to be performed to safely to operate each equipment. The best approach to show a task oriented process such as teaching proper safety procedures on equipment is to have a course that has a combination multimedia approach. People learn better from both words and pictures (Mayer, 2009). Employees should be able to get a visual of the safety procedures they must follow along with narration explaining each process. The best way to capture this is by making a video for each piece of equipment with a subject matter expert explaining all the safety procedures involved for the equipment. The video would be added to each equipment module in the e-learning course by converting them to a Flash video or a YouTube type. It’s also important to just provide the relevant information in the videos as well as throughout the course. People learn better when extraneous material is excluded rather than included (Mayer, 2009). In the video as well as the course in general you want to just give information explaining and related to safety procedures. You don’t want to start giving extra info not relevant to safety such as tips on how to use the equipment since the objective of the course are equipment safety procedures.
Next the course needs to be engaging. A reason for ineffective e-learning is that courses are rushed to be made and the learning is not reinforced by some type of application (Hamtinin, 2008). This will be accomplished in two ways. First, a simulation will be added to each of the equipment modules where the employees can practice what they saw in the videos by doing the safety procedures on each machinery in a simulated computer based environment. These simulations can be created using NGRAIN simulation software or if on a tight budget for this project, Adobe Captivate will work also. The difference between NGRAIN and Captivate is that NGRAIN can provide high quality interactive 3D images that can be rotated and taken apart. After they complete the online course they will start the second phase of their training and the second application. This is when they would be turned over to their shift supervisor and would demonstrate what they learned on the actual equipment. This will ensure that they can perform what they learned on the online course and the performance can be certified by the shift supervisor. This dual channel training should help the company improve their safety record.
Adobe Captivate 7. (2013). Retrieved July 19, 2013, from http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate.html
Hamtini, T.M. (2008). Evaluating E-learning Programs: An adaptation of Kirkpatrick’s Model to accommodate e-learning environments. Journal of Computer Science, 4(4), 693-698. Retrieved from Education Research Complete Database
Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia Learning (2nd ed.) New York/NY: Cambridge University Press
NGRAIN. (2013). Retrieved July 19, 2013, from http://www.ngrain.com/