What Is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

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Many people in learning and development are quite familiar with learning management systems (LMSs). Maybe you use one now, or maybe you’ve used one for years.

On the other hand, there are plenty of people who aren’t familiar with an LMS, haven’t used one, or don’t know what an LMS is. Maybe you’re new to training. Maybe your role in training has never involved using an LMS. Or maybe your company still hasn’t adopted an LMS, and you’re still administering your training through an excruciating series of databases, network folders, SharePoint, Excel spreadsheets, and paper-based training records in manila envelopes stored in metal filing cabinets in various rooms though out the office. 🙁

If the paragraph above describes your situation, here’s a 100-level primer explaining what an LMS is. We’ve also included some additional links to other LMS-related articles. Hope this helps get you up to speed quickly.

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Free Hot Work Training Module

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Until recently, we offered a free Hot Work training course on this blog.
However, we now offer a new product line that allows you to view our full Production-level online safety and health training courses in several different formats, including pay-per-view at a very inexpensive price.
Check out our online Hot Work Training Safety course and our Hot Work Permit course.

And since you’re here, feel free to download our free guide to effective EHS Training, as well.

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Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to design, create, deliver, and evaluate effective EHS training by following these best practices with our free step-by-step guide.

Download Free Guide

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MSHA Guidance Explains that OSHA’s New HazCom 2012/GHS Standard Meets Requirements of MSHA’s HazCom Standard

In case you missed it, MSHA recently issued a guidance stating that “mine operators compliant with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) are also in compliance with MSHA’s Hazard Communication (HazCom) standards.”

Want to see it for yourself? You can read the MSHA HazCom Guidance here.

But MSHA’s gone one step further, providing several additional helpful documents. If you’re still reading and aren’t “HazCommed” out, check out this MSHA/OSHA HazCom PowerPoint created by MSHA and this press release on the same topic.

Looking for some online MSHA training solutions? Just click below!


 

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Book Review: Design for How People Learn by Julie Dirksen

If you’ve poked around in the field of instructional design and/or learning and development for even a short while, the chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of Julie Dirksen’s book Design for How People Learn. And, the chances that you’ve heard nice things about Dirksen’s book are equally good. Design for How People Learn is very well regarded and seems to be becoming a bit of a modern classic in the field. I was a little behind the times in reading it, but I’m happy to say I’ve now finished it and am ready to join the people saying nice things about it.

First, a little about Julie Dirksen. She’s an instructional designer with a really nice blog called Usable Learning (www.usablelearning.com). The blog has lots of helpful information, and Dirksen frequently responds to reader comments there. She’s been kind enough to respond to mine in the past, for example.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider that makes many libraries of off-the-shelf e-learning courses, several different learning management systems (LMSs) for companies of different sizes, industries, and training needs, and more. Contact us to learn more and set up a demo.

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When a Job Aid Is Better than Job Training

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Have you ever read an article that discusses job aids, workforce training, mobile training, parenting, and pumping gas into a car? If not, grab a seat, because you’re about to.

By way of background, companies sometimes create training that their employees don’t need, that won’t fix the problem, or that isn’t worth the cost. For example, you can spend a lot of time and money trying to train your employees to memorize 50 codes—which your employees probably won’t successfully memorize despite your best efforts—or you can create a document that lists all the codes, put that document where your employees need it at work, and give them a very short training session about how to use that list.

That document with the codes on it is an example of a job aid. Have you got a Post-It note by your computer telling you how to do something? That’s a job aid too. And with the ease of recording short, instructional videos at work, and the fact that so many people have mobile devices and smart phones they can use to watch those videos as needed at work as well, you can easily imagine using videos as job aids as well.

Sometimes, a job aid is all a person needs. And they can be much more effective than training. Let’s look at an example from my real life outside the office.
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OJT and the Training Needs Analysis

Before you begin any OJT program, you should perform a training needs analysis. Actually, that’s true no matter what kind of training you’re considering. But what is a training needs analysis, and why should you do one? Glad you asked, because that’s what we’re about to explain.

Before we begin, let’s cover some basics. First, you’ll sometimes hear this called a training needs analysis, and other times you’ll hear this called a training needs assessment. They’re basically the same thing, or at least have similar steps intended to lead to the same result.

Second, know that this “analysis” or “assessment” comes before you begin creating training materials (perhaps by using the traditional ADDIE instructional design model or a similar method for creating training materials).

And finally, note that there are entire books written about performing a training needs analysis. We’ve given only a quick-and-dirty, brief overview below. This should get you headed in the right direction and in many cases may be all you need. But watch our blog for further posts with more details, and check the links at the bottom of this post for even more helpful information.

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Improving Employee Productivity With More Informed Management: Dan Ariely’s “The Upside of Irrationality”

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Dan Ariely has one PhD in cognitive psychology and another in business administration. He’s the James. B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He’s also got appointments at the Fuqua School for Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics, and the School of Medicine. In short, if you’re interested in improving the performance at your work place, he’s a good guy to listen to.

And that’s why we’re interested in Ariely and other writers like him (such as Daniel Kahneman). We’re a training company, but we’re the first to admit that training isn’t the solution for every issue at the workforce, and that you can get workers to improve their performance in ways other than providing training. Ariely’s insights into how people think and how those thoughts affect their choices and behaviors can be applied directly to workforce performance improvement.

If that sounds intriguing to you, we’ve got a little summary for you below, and then we encourage you to buy the book and check out Dan Ariely’s website. We also have some articles dealing with behavioral economics related to Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow and thoughts on innovation from the folks behind Freakonomics.

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Update from OSHA Spokesperson on Publication of Upcoming Confined Spaces in Construction Standard (1926.1200)

[Note: This is an old article written in 2013. If you’re looking for current information about the brand-new (2015) confined spaces in construction rule, click here].

Earlier this year, OSHA released its Unified Agenda, which listed a new Confined Spaces in Construction regulation as something to look for in 2013. The Unified Agenda listed July as the planned date of publication (it’s July now), but the new regulation isn’t out yet. We followed up with the OSHA contact listed on the Unified Agenda to get an update, and an OSHA Spokesperson was kind enough to get back to us with answers. (We’d like to thank the OSHA personnel who worked to get us a reply for their time, effort, and information—getting a regulation finalized can’t be easy.)

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HazCom 2012, GHS, and the Labeling Systems: GHS, DOT, NFPA, and HMIS

One question people keep asking is how the new GHS-compliant shipping labels required by OSHA’s new Hazard Communication 2012 regulation will affect the use of other labeling systems, including the labeling system required by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the commonly known National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS) labels.

The question is even more interesting and timelier because OSHA recently published a Brief that announced they plan to make a small change to the new HazCom regulation involving DOT labels.

So without further ado, let’s get down to business and explain what’s what.

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10 OSHA-Based Word Games: Great For Fun Safety Meeting Activities

10-osha-safety-word-games-imageIn this article, we’ve collected ten free safety word games for you and have even created a way for you to download copies of all ten games in one click.

The word games are based on the standards that show up again and again on OSHA’s Top Ten Violations list. So, it’s worth knowing these terms. Plus, the games are fun to play.

Each of the games is based on terms that OSHA defines in each of those standards. So they’re a good way to get more familiar with OSHA’s definitions. (By the way, this is one of 2 sets of safety-based word games we offer–the other set of safety training word games includes terms and concepts from our online safety courses, so you may want to check that one out too).

Remember that to play any of the games, you’ve got to click one of the ten links below. Also, remember that if you want to download free copies of the games, you’ll download a zipped folder in a format called SCORM that you can then import into a SCORM-compliant LMS and then play the games from the LMS (you can’t download and then play the games without using an LMS).

If you’re going to go with the download option, read more about how that works below and then scroll to the bottom of the article to click the download button.
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