Q&A with Easybook Training’s VP
By Lindsey Anderson15 June 2021
ALH recently sat down with Easybook Training’s Vice President Tony Radke to discuss all things training. Here’s what he had to say.
ALH: The need for online training surged during the pandemic. As the world opens back up, will people migrate back to classroom training or will online training keep growing?
Radke: It is clear that the pandemic forced training companies and accrediting bodies to embrace new ways of making training accessible and ultimately recognize the need for more digital/virtual training options. This enabled courses that were traditionally only offered in a classroom environment to be offered online, or in virtual instructor-led formats.
From the trainee’s perspective, there has also been a shift in behaviors that allowed traditional classroom learners to access the same training material and quality instruction from their home computers. While there will surely be a return to traditional classroom learning as conditions continue to improve, the availability of virtual training formats is likely to increase as training can now be made available to more, regardless of location and provide greater opportunity to receive instruction and necessary credentials.
Common benefits of online training include flexibility and self-paced learning, but what are some additional ‘pros’ to taking courses virtually?
The cost of online training, at times, can be much less considering employees no longer have to travel to the nearest training location. In some cases, this may have even required additional cost in overnight travel. Also, companies may not have to wait for the next available classroom course to become available.
Online training and virtual options can limit employee downtime, aid in onboarding processes and allow employees to access worksites in far less time. For the training provider, the pivot to online and virtual training options may mean they too can realize some benefits by being able to reach greater numbers of students and conduct classes with trainees from various states or locations. They may also be able to reduce overhead costs for things like training facilities and course materials.
Some say a downside to online training is a student losing interest/not retaining information well due to length of time in front of a screen. How can this be combatted?
In the early days of online training programs, this was a much more valid concern, especially when the content was PowerPoint-driven, and the student would simply listen to a voiceover while advancing slides.
Technology in online training, however, has advanced so far that now many programs have created highly interactive learning environments where the student is forced to engage with the training program. Virtual and augmented reality can place a student in a virtual jobsite and have them apply the instruction being provided.
All of these advances have provided for tremendous improvements in engagement and retention. Additionally, in traditional online training, students typically have the option of completing the training at their own pace so their length of time in front of the screen can be minimized and allow for greater interest and successful learning.
Do you think online learning paired with AR/VR training can attract younger workers?
Definitely! This is the future direction for safety training. The next generation of workers will be the most technologically advanced workforce in history. They are the first generation that grew up with cell phones and have been working with advanced technology since their earliest days of childhood.
As this next generation enters the workforce, safety and compliance training will need to utilize existing and developing technologies to successfully engage with this group. The need for this type of development will likely attract younger, more technologically oriented workers to create new training content.
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