The last 12 years of my life have been spent working as a safety trainer, advisor, manager and consultant in the capacity of an employer and also an employee.
In all these roles, one of my main responsibilities was to provide health and safety training, information and instruction.
In all, until most recently when I had the opportunity to work with an excellent company who loved and used technology, I delivered all of them either with PowerPoint presentations to a live classroom, or with paper (electronic and printed).
As safety professionals, many of us are responsible for this one task, while some rely on external providers.
One thing is common –
How do you maintain an audit trail? How do you keep track of who completed what and when? How do you know when a refresher is due?Contents hide2 3 ways to digitalise training
When I started newly in a previous role, I found out by mistake that the hardcopy training records were destroyed after 12 months because they believed they had scanned them and had them saved. Truth is, not all were scanned and saved. I came to realise this pain when I needed past training records for some insurance claims I was handling.
Clearly, I can’t be alone in this experience. Keeping record of training and the certificates gained is another hurdle we find ourselves looking to jump over.
Records when not in paper, are usually kept in Excel ????♀️ and certificates scanned and filed away. Only to be later found with a rigorous search especially when the filing system isn’t streamlined.
What if we would make all these woes go away? ????♀️
What if you could streamline things, save lots of time and paper, and make greater impact by moving your training, instructions and information online and digital.
Here are 6 main problems digitising training can solve
1. Proof of training.
Providing training is a legal requirement. Having digital record reduces the risk of losing files and records, and can prove helpful if a claim is made against the company by an employee
2. Reach more people in a short time.
Rather than having to travel or fix a date that is convenient for all, which let’s face it, is hard to find, people can attend training at a time that suits them.
3. Eliminate manual reminders.
Time for a refresher? You don’t have to manually remind people. A good digital system sends them reminders automatically either via email or a pop up on their screen.
4. Save the environment.
Do away with printing. Handouts and workbooks can now be digital and fillable on a PC without having to print. You can even use drag and drop for some activities to make it fun.
5. Save your safety training business. Pivot as many call it.
Many have had to pause the training side of their business due to the pandemic. Training doesn’t have to stop. You can replicate the classroom training online with ease.
6. Save time
Planning can take up so much time especially when done manually. In this article, I share a planning tool that can take days off your planning with drag and drop templates and ideas to get you planning and teaching in no time.
3 ways to digitalise training
Now that you understand the problems you can solve when you move your training online, you may be wondering how. Right?
Let me share with you 3 of the ways we help our clients digitise training.
1. Open source
A perfect example is Moodle.
Moodle is the most popular Learning Management System (LMS) in the world. Many universities make use of them and have for many many years. Moodle is provided freely as Open Source software, under the GNU General Public License.
Open source means anyone can adapt, extend or modify Moodle for both commercial and non-commercial projects without any licensing fees, and benefit from the cost-efficiencies, flexibility and other advantages of using Moodle.
How I use it is to install on a sub-domain and set it all up from there.
2. Self-Hosted Learning Management System (LMS)
The most popular way to get this done is with a plugin on your WordPress website. The only con to this is you need to build from scratch and are responsible for keeping the school updated.
There are many LMS plugins with varying amount of features – I don’t have a favourite but have worked with some really great plugins.
Some of them have some really cool and exciting features like drag & drop course builder, quizzes, automated notifications, certificates, discussion forums and communities, leaderboards to add some fun and gamification, assignments, marketing and sales allowing you to set up memberships, one-time payments and subscriptions, and so much more!
So yes you create a fully functional online school on WordPress.
If you would like a demo of a couple of them and are ready to build your online school, please send me a message.
3. Ready-Made platforms
I have tried many different ones but there are 3 I recommend:
1. Google Classroom
It has lots of missing features like payments). If you are looking to get paid via your LMS, this is not the way to go. If you however need a platform to host in-house courses for your employees or school students, this may be perfect as it also has the ability for students to interact with one another and even with the tutor.
Check out this post where I share some details on using Google Classroom.
One of my favourite platforms. It is fun to use and set up.
Some of the interesting features are payment, integrating discussion forums, duplicating courses, and even has leaderboards which is perfect if you love and want to gamify learning.
Cost starts from free where you are limited to 50 students. For $19 a month, you get up to 1000 students and can build up as your school grows.
Check them out HERE.
Below is an example of the course area of my membervault school. You can have videos, texts, and even downloads.
3. All-in-One Learning Management System
Last on my list but my ultimate favourite. This is where my School Safety Portal and HSEWise Academy is currently built and hosted. I migrated from Membervault purely for 2 reasons – email marketing and the live classes and meetings features.
Yes you read that right. You no longer have to spend money on email marketing as the pro account for this platform comes with the ability to send emails.
Additionally, you can host live classes and meeting at no additional cost, saving you a huge amount of money you should be paying to Zoom.
You can create surveys, quizzes, and as many communities and forums as you like, and even have up to 3 online schools with the pro package. It doesn’t get better than this. It is currently in Beta but keeps getting better.
As with others, it also comes with the ability to drip-feed lessons and has a payment system.
This platform has a lot of features you would typically have to break the bank to pay for and is truly an all-in-one platform.
One of my favourite parts of this is the course building area. It has more options you can play around with and build a true learning experience.
Guess what? You can’t just go sign up. You need an invitation. Send me your email address using this short form below and an invite will hit you inbox in less than 5 minutes.
Get the invite link
Once the link gets to you, sign up, test things with a free account, then grab a pro account before the price triples. The free package has limited features but you can do wonders and upgrade once you’re ready.
Here is what one of my courses looks like.
So which should you choose?
- No money/budget? Go with Moodle or Google Classroom
- Low budget of about $20 a month? Go with Membervault
- Have about $500+ a year? Go with my favourite.
Get your invite
Confused still about which to choose? Leave a comment.
Ever searched for a platform to help you plan great and highly interactive lessons and courses you can host on any of the above?
One of my challenges is writing a lesson plan for my trainings and instructional material. It usually takes days to come up with something punch and powerful. Imagine my excitement when I discovered SessionLab.
New to my list of tools is this awesome tool is SessionLab. It is interestingly different from the rest and quite unique in how it is used to help deliver a great learning experience. Clearly well thoughtout to meet a need many other platforms are yet to identify and provide solutions to.
It is perfect for planning live workshops be it virtual or physical. It has a session planner which clearly shows the time for each session, as well as details and materials used in each session. This is a GAME CHANGER!
It brings the lesson plan approach which helps learners and facilitators keep track of learning progress, whats to come and even a sneak peek which allows for advance preparation, and done in a way that brings the physical classroom feel to the digital world.
SessionLab can be used in collaboration with your favourite tools like Google Drive and Dropbox. It provides real-time updates which is great for seamless team collaboration.
SessionLab also has a library of icebreakers and activities – something the others do not have. If you would like to run highly interactive and inclusive sessions – this is for you. I will be exploring this platform in great detail and come back with a review for you. Deal?
You can watch this demo to get a feel for this tool.
P.S. You need a different platform for the actual delivery of content and materials like Zoom, Google Meet and the likes. SessionLab is the ultimate scheduler and planner for a great learning experience.
Just for you
My next published articles will be showing you the behind the scenes of how Moodle, Membervault and my favourite all-in-one platform. You don’t want to miss it. Sign up below to get notified when the videos get released.
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I truly hope I have been able to show you the importance of providing safety training and information online and that has prompted you to visit the idea of making the move to online learning.
I can help you get your online schools or safety training and inductions, instructions etc, on one or more of the platforms we have mentioned today. Even if you have another platform in mind, I can still help regardless. I’m not called Prof for nothing. Contact me for a free consultation.