This week’s application was to explore distant learning technology, other than CMS technology, that can be used to provide a solution to a real-world scenario. Three scenarios were provided along with a brief needs assessment. The assignment was to identify several distant learning tools that could provide a solution for one of the three scenarios. For this week’s blog post, I chose to research distant learning tools that could be used in an asynchronous training scenario. The needs assessment is as follows:
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 (Laureate Education Inc., n. d.).
It can be assumed from the scenario, training needs were identified along with goals and objectives. I will also assume workers have been given an overview of the training and its importance (if not, this needs to be done prior to actual training. The next step is to develop training to fulfill these needs, summarized as follows:
- A series of stand-alone modules with step-by-step instruction on how to safely operate heavy machinery on the plant floor.
- Training modules need to be available to workers on all three 8-hour shifts.
- The modules will include learning activities to assess skill and knowledge acquisition per module.
- Completion of each module for each trainee needs to be documented.
In this scenario, internet-based, asynchronous training would be well suited for training, in terms of cost, flexibility and accessibility. In addition, process updates can be easily updated. The challenge for the instructional design is to select technological tools which offer the best solution of providing learners with interactive training in an asynchronous learning environment (Beldarrain, 2006). The use of Web 2.0 learning objects can be incorporated into the company’s network (on-site access) or through cloud based technology (off site, network access), to deliver training instruction and assessment.
Training can be same place, different time or different place, different time, depending on factors such as cost, plant and worker resources (Simonson et al., 2012). A wiki, such as Wikispaces private label, can be used as a learner portal to host various media and text manuals, create learning widgets, and act as a simple learning environment. For example, step-by-step processes on how to safely operate heavy machinery on the plant floor could be provided in a series of YouTube video tutorials that workers could access on workplace or personal computer. Tools such as Jing or Camtasia by TechSmith could be used to create the video tutorials. Jing is great for recording short segments up to 5 min and might be sufficient for segments within the modules. Camtasia can be used to create interactive training and support videos that workers can watch on nearly any device. Click here to see a short video showing how Ketiv uses Camtasia for training.
Modules would include ongoing assessment activities embedded into the software to document each trainee’s progress per module. Each module needs to be completed before moving on to the next. The benefit of ongoing assessment is that progress can be monitored per training module (Stiggins, as cited in Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, and Zvacek, 2012). Assessments to measure knowledge could be provided at the end of each training module using a web-based tool such as TrainingCheck. Movement to successive modules would be dependent assessment results. TrainingCheck can also be used for end-of-training evaluation, feedback and analysis (TrainingCheck, 2014).
Another solution would be to implement an all-in-one online platform, such as Udemy for Organizations, to create and deliver training using flexible learning management. Training can consist of videos, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, Prezi, and other web 2.0 tools (Udemy, 2014a). Datalogix is just one of several companies that are using Udemy to deliver training (Udemy, 2014).
There were so many tools available, I will come back and add to this post as I review them further. Training software that I found very interesting takes training to the next level with interactive 3-D.
Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance Education Trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139-153. doi:10.1080/01587910600789498
Laureate Education Inc., n. d.). The Technology of Distance Education. [Course Resources]. Retreived from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_4775279_1%26url%3D
Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.) [Kindle Edition]. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com.
TechSmith. (2014). TechSmith: Screen capture and recording software. Retrieved from http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html
TrainingCheck. (2014). Creating evaluations. Retrieved from http://www.trainingcheck.com/take-a-tour/creating-evaluations/
Udemy. (2014). Datalogiz: CaseStudy. Retrieved from https://www.udemy.com/organizations/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/CaseStudyDatalogix.pdf
Udemy. (2014a). Online course creation. Retrieved from https://www.udemy.com/organizations/product-offerings/course-creation/
Wikispaces. (2013). Wikispaces private label for business. Retrieved from https://www.wikispaces.com/content/private-label/business