Vector Solutions Releases First of New Microlearning Course Series

Vector Solutions Releases First of New Microlearning Course Series

We at Vector Solutions are excited to announce the release of an entirely new library of online courses designed for a slightly different purpose than our previous libraries: our new workplace performance improvement microlearning course library (if microlearning is a new concept to you, check out our What Is Microlearning? infographic, our How to Use Microlearning blog article, and register for our upcoming Microlearning for Safety Training webinar).

The initial release of courses will be focused on microlearning for safety and health training and will include an initial release of 66 new microlearning courses. Vector will release additional microlearning courses, including microlearning outside the safety/health library, in the months to follow.

The 66 new safety & health microlearning courses include 65 "standard" microlearning courses that are drawn directly from our award-winning, 3D-animated HSE online training library. For example, there are three new microlearning courses related to Arc Flash (Identifying Arc Flash Hazards; Communicating Arc Flash Hazards; and What Is Arc Flash?), all drawn from our full-length Arc Flash Safety elearning course.

Quick update: even in the small amount of time that's passed since original publication of this article, Vector Solutions has added six additional courses to this new microlearning/safety training library, so the current total is 72 "standard" courses and that number will keep growing with time.

Here's a quick video overview of our new Microlearning/Safety Training offering:

The initial release of those 65 microlearning courses includes short courses drawn from our following full-length safety training courses:

In addition to these 65 microlearning HSE courses, we'll also be releasing a series of story-based microlearning "case-study" courses. These case studies will retroactively tell the story of workplace incidents, allowing workers and safety professionals to discuss things like what could have been done to reduce the chances of the incident occurring and what similar risks may be present at their own workplace. The first of these case-study courses involves a fall from a scissors lift.

Read even more about our new microlearning courses in this mini-catalog.

Some Benefits of Microlearning

Microlearning has a lot of potential learning and performance-improvement benefits for organizations like your own. These benefits of microlearning at work include but are not limited to:

  • Providing initial training in shorter periods of time, reducing the time workers are completing training and are off the job (and therefore the cost associated with that)
  • Reinforcing earlier training sessions and therefore improving retention and on-the-job transfer
  • Making it easier to make training assignments that apply directly to a workers' jobs (because the course is shorter and more focused)
  • Provide performance support at the place and time a worker needs information in order to complete a job (often through a mobile device)
  • Providing quick refreshers immediately before performing a dangerous or high-risk job task
  • Provide opportunities for safety professionals, workers, and managers to discuss safety issues (during classroom training, pre-job talks, or similar situations)
  • Provide focused training supplements to existing site-specific training

Read even more about the benefits of these courses in our microlearning feature and benefit sheet.

All Microlearning Courses by Vector Solutions Come in Our "Next-Generation" Course Player

If you're a Vector Solutions online training customer, you already know we proudly rolled out our next-generation online course player just a few months back.

The course player brings all of these training benefits:

  • All courses play in the same consistent, standard video player.
  • All courses launch in the same window as the LMS.
  • All courses allow learners to easily toggle the audio transcript between on (visible) and off (hidden) states.
  • All courses allow learners to select to have the audio and audio transcript presented in any of 40+ languages (translations are generated through machine learning and are free to Vector customers).
  • The audio transcript is now searchable--just type in a word and the course will take you to that part of the transcript
  • Courses now have an "interactive transcript" feature. This allows learners to open the audio transcript, find the exact part of the course they want to view, click on those words, and have the elearning course automatically advance to and play the selected learning material.
  • The courses will be presented in a "mobile responsive" viewing experience, making it easier for learners to view and complete courses on any type of device--desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.
  • The Vector LMS will sense the rate at which the learner's connection is streaming the video/audio and automatically adjust the video/audio bitrate to create the best streaming and viewing conditions for the learner based on their current Internet connection.

The following overview video explains a little more about our next-generation course player.

This is just a quick FYI that these new Vector Solutions microlearning courses also come in the new next-generation from Vector. At Vector, we're always innovating to provide the best solutions for our customers!

To Learn Even More about our New Microlearning Course Offerings

Just check out our new microlearning courses webpage at the Vector website!

And now let's get into some more useful information about microlearning, including what it is and how and why to use it, below.

What Is Microlearning?

Microlearning just means a short learning activity. Often, a microlearning activity is designed to help a learner master a single learning objective (for more on learning objectives, download our learning objectives guide or listen to our recorded discussion on learning objectives with learning researcher Dr. Patti Shank).

Learn more at our What Is Microlearning? blog article.

How Can a Safety Professional Use Microlearning as Part of a Training & Performance Program?

In our microlearning infographic, we note you can use microlearning in at least three different ways:

  • As part of your normal training programs/training paths/curriculum
  • As refresher training, especially when utilized for spaced practice and when requiring application and/or retrieval practice
  • As performance support (aka "job aid") at the moment of need on the job, instead of or in addition to training

Let's take a closer look at each of those three uses for microlearning.

Part of normal training path: You can use microlearning activities as part of any normal training program you create. Workers might enjoy having to focus on only a small amount of material for a short amount of time. The microlearning activity might essentially be a "stand-alone" part of the training path or you can use the microlearning to jump-start a discussion or reflection period on a safety topic (we think the story-based case studies we've released will be especially productive for this). One hint: whether you're using microlearning activities created by others or you're making your own, try to think of them as plug-and-play, re-usable learning activities (such as for training, refresher training, and performance support). Your microlearning then becomes a learning and performance-improvement asset.

Refresher training: As discussed in our articles about Why People Forget Training and Combatting the Training Forgetting Curve, if you're a trainer who's making use of "one-and-done" training, or even training with an annual refresher, and you're hoping people will remember and later apply everything, then you're certainly making your job harder and setting yourself up for disappointing training outcomes and workplace results. But by having workers complete their initial training, then using microlearning courses like the ones Vector just released as refresher training, you can help improve comprehension, retention, and later on-the-job application, behaviors, and safety outcomes. We discuss this issue more in our article Microlearning and Spaced Practice.

Performance support: We all know it's not wise to put all of our eggs into one basket, and yet we sometimes rely too much on training when giving information to workers when and where they need it on the job either in addition to training or instead of training would lead to better outcomes. That's what performance support, which is also sometimes known as workflow learning, job aids, and other similar terms, is all about. You're certainly already familiar with the idea through paper-based checklists and probably already use it. Can you see how microlearning, including our microlearning courses on processes such as lockout/tag/energy-control procedures, could be a great way to let workers access vital safety information before they attempt a job task that could lead to incidents? Read more about performance support, sometimes called job aids, here.

In addition to our list of uses for microlearning, Dr. Will Thalheimer has a list of 5 uses over at his blog. One that we left out is the idea of behavioral prompts, which might allow you to use the behavioral-economics concept of "nudging" to facilitate behavior change amongst workers.

Some Reasons Microlearning Is Helpful at Work

We've already discussed a few, notably that microlearning courses can aid retention and later application on the job when used as training, refresher training, or as performance support.

It's also very helpful because we're all pressed for time and swamped with information at work and at home. Presenting training in shorter, bite-sized "nuggets" like microlearning makes it easier to get and keep a worker's attention and means the worker may even be more likely to seek out the microlearning course him or herself (on a "pull," instead of a "push" basis).

Finally, using microlearning can drastically cut costs associated with training, including travel, room/hotel rental, fees for third-party instructors, worker time away from work, and more.

But mostly, you should consider adding microlearning to your training program because it's an evidence-based training practice that can lead to better training outcomes, better workplace performance, and in the case of microlearning for safety training, a safer workplace.

Conclusion: Use MICROlearning for MACRO Learning Benefits at Work

We hope you're as excited as we are about the release of these new microlearning online training courses and we'll keep you posted as we release even more. Please let us know if you'd more like information, or a demo or preview, and share any questions or thoughts you have below.

If you're curious for even more about using microlearning for safety training, be sure to watch and listen to our recorded webinar on Microlearning with Safety Training, presented by Jeff Dalto of Vector Solutions (who happens to be on the ASSP committee that wrote the Z490.2 standard for online EHS training and is rewriting the Z490.1 standard for all EHS training).

Before you go, please download our 3 Uses for Microlearning infographic, too.

 

 

 

 

Jeff Dalto, Senior Learning & Performance Improvement Manager
Jeff is a learning designer and performance improvement specialist with more than 20 years in learning and development, 15+ of which have been spent working in manufacturing, industrial, and architecture, engineering & construction training. Jeff has worked side-by-side with more than 50 companies as they implemented online training. Jeff is an advocate for using evidence-based training practices and is currently completing a Masters degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning from Boise State University. He writes the Vector Solutions | Convergence Training blog and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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