Technology Driven Learning Resources: eLearning
by MATHEW KENNEDY Apr 5, 2016
A variety of new, technology-driven resources are emerging as useful learning tools in the workplace.
The online world has influenced everything we do including how we search, shop, and sell; so, adapting to how workers can learn in new ways has become a focus for many health and safety professionals. eLearning, for example, requires developers to work closely with health and safety experts and instructional designers to customize a solution to fit worker training needs. Using eLearning as an option for organizational health and safety programs makes sense in that you:
- are not bound to a specific location
- can learn at your own pace
- take advantage of tracking and certificate generation.
As eLearning becomes increasingly popular as a method of instruction, workplaces are discovering the varied methods in which you can customize course material and keep workers engaged.
PSHSA recently surveyed our eLearning participants to understand more about if and what in particular they prefer about eLearning. Of 3,307 respondents across all of our eLearning courses, 96% of all respondents rated the course they took at 3 or higher out of 5. And 82% of all respondents rated our courses at 4 or higher out of 5. Comments ranged from “comprehensive and well put together in an easy to digest format” to “ Well laid out and easy to follow.” Some of the most common comments were: “A wealth of information in a professional yet accessible manner” as well as “The course was well put together and I learned a lot from this course.” Over the past couple of years at PSHSA we can see how eLearning has revolutionized how people learn and it has changed how our audiences look at acquiring knowledge. It is interesting to note that for the PSHSA Chief Fire Officials eLearning, 47% of respondents were between the ages of 35 and 49 and 48% were 50 years old or over. Survey results show that 98% of respondents rated this particular course at 3 or higher out of 5 and 85% rated the course at 4 or higher out of 5. These learnings indicate that eLearning is a viable and flexible means of learning across all ages. Demographic change with an ageing population and workforce has created strong interest in strategies to maintain the skill levels of the workforce in this context. The role of eLearning is a possible response in being able to provide motivating and effective ways of learning for workers. Elearning can be a powerful tool in the development of more flexible strategies in adapting to the needs and preferences of older people. Trends in the application of learning technologies are moving in the direction of strategies that are more personal, social and flexible. These are attributes that are ideally suited to the preferences of mature age learners who bring a wide range of individual needs, much life experience, and a wish to learn at a time, place and manner that suits their lifestyle and values.
These are the kind of learnings that can likely to lead to a more in depth understanding of how e-learning can be a key tool in adapting learning strategies to the needs and preferences of learners in a range of contexts, in successive phases of life, and especially at milestone transition points, such as returning to the workforce after an absence or gradually retiring from the workforce and taking up volunteering activities or changing careers to better suit changing life circumstances.
We are also finding that organizations are open to uploading our health and safety eLearning library to their own internal learning Management Systems (LMS). Examples of popular choices for this option are:
- WHMIS 2015
- Worker/Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness
- Health and Safety for Board of Directors
- Asbestos Awareness
- The key advantage in doing so is being able to offer workers a range of eLearning options that they can take at their own pace to augment traditional instructor-based training built into their own company access points.
What else is driving the popularity of eLearning?
The changing and increasingly complex work environment means that employees need to be trained continuously to stay current and to stay competitive. The use of online learning technologies are becoming essential to:
- Allow workforces to stay appraised of their job functions’ developing requirements, enabling them to make a positive impact within their organisation and help achieve business goals
- Aid with succession planning to assist workers with acquiring knowledge and skills to help them progress within their organizations
- Allow businesses to optimize training budgets as well as, develop and retain existing employees and reduce the costs related to external human resources recruitment, selection and on-boarding.
All of these go towards the rise in eLearning popularity. We still expect to see fast and significant growth as we roll out even more products in an eLearning format.
Building on decades of sector-specific experience, PSHSA consultants provide the subject matter expertise required to create creative and innovative eLearning experiences. Our eLearning developers work closely with our health and safety experts and instructional designers to customize a solution to fit any eLearning need. Whether you would like to take advantage of our extensive content library or you have content of your own that needs to be converted into eLearning, PSHSA will work with you to develop a creative and innovative eLearning solution.
For the past three years, Mathew Kennedy has served as PSHSA’s Manager of Learning Design and Development. Mathew brings almost 15 years of experience in the eLearning industry having led eLearning initiatives in the financial and health care sectors, before joining PSHSA. Most recently Mathew managed eLearning across Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab ensuring the highest quality of digital learning for over 16,000 staff. Mathew holds a post graduate certificate in Instructional Design and a Masters degree in Education with a focus on Distance Education.