Safety training is an essential part of any workplace. Because of the convenient and cost-effective nature of e-learning, online platforms are being chosen more and more for safety training in many industries. But as with other types of training, e-learning is only as good as the content it offers, the way the online content is delivered and how it fits into your overall training objectives.
It is important to know when to use it and how to select the right online safety training—just because a company offers a course online does not make it a good course or the right platform for your company. Keep the following four points in mind to help you select the best digital safety training program for your needs.
- Reputable companies – Do a bit of research on the training provider before investing in them. Help and technical support are essential components of a long-term online safety training plan—you want to invest in a company that is going to be around to support you. Technical problems, especially for people who aren’t technically savvy, can be a real hindrance in learning. A good safety e-learning vendor should provide effective support whenever you need it. It’s also important to ensure that the course material is regularly updated. The most common complaint from online courses is outdated videos. Participants will lose interest if they feel they’re receiving “old news”. Online training has the advantage of delivering training exactly as it was intended by allowing training facilitators to choose the appropriate audio, animation, video and interactive components.
- Multiple offerings – Find a vendor that provides multiple courses for training. There is nothing worse than having to continually shop around for training. A digital safety training vendor should offer multiple courses on training topics that apply to your workplace, as well as additional topics that complement them. Vendors often provide the same style of training across multiple topics—which means employees will become familiar and comfortable with the format of training being delivered, which eases the learning process. Courses should be designed specifically for an online learning format. Not every subject can be easily transferred online. An important issue to note is that participants are more likely to scan pages than to thoroughly read the material. Summary sections are a great way to ensure information is retained.
It’s also wise to ensure participants are engaged to keep their attention. Make sure online safety courses combine visuals (pictures, video clips, animation), audio, an interactive component and a reading component to reach all types of learners. A variety of testing methods is also useful (multiple choice, true-false, fill in the blank), and look for components with gamification to make the learning more fun.
- Know your audience – Older workers may be reluctant to use technology on their own to complete training. It’s important to make workers feel comfortable with the platform on which you deliver your training. Regardless of age, if an employee has a negative view of the training platform before they begin then their ability to retain the information in the training course will suffer.
- Other considerations – Personalized employee training is important. Most online courses allow trainees to pick up where they left off. This means that unlike classroom training, they won’t be rushed through a safety course because time is running out. Instead, they can go back and finish the entire course as their schedule allows. Online courses also need to be interactive. If participants can quickly click through the course they are not learning anything. Online safety training with quizzes and activities are a great way to engage participants and if you need to verify competence you may also need graded assessments, reporting and scheduling capabilities.
Ensure your online safety training vendor can meet these requirements. And if you’re not sure then ask —that way you can be confident you’re providing up-to-date safety training that employees will remember and use on the job.