4 Common Contractor Orientation Challenges

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Let us guess: you need to provide site-specific orientations to contractors before they arrive to work at your site. And you’ve got to deliver other orientation materials to visitors and vendors before they arrive for their visit.

Are we right?

We can even guess some of the problems you’re having. Contractors arrive at your site without completing their orientation. It’s difficult to drop everything and train them as they show up, one by one, but it’s equally difficult to set up classroom-style orientations so you can do it with larger groups. Once the orientation is complete, you don’t have an effective way to store the records. Plus, it’s complicated to manage orientations that contractors have to complete every year or so, because you’re not sure who completed the orientation when. Or maybe you suspect that contractors are billing your company back for the fee they pay to complete your current online contractor orientation solution (which seemed like a bargain when you got it for free).

Are we onto something here? Sound familiar? If so, keep reading, because we’re about to outline some common problems companies like yours face when trying to provide contractor and visitor orientations.

Plus, we’ve included a link to our downloadable Contractor and Visitors Orientation Buyer’s Guide to help you sort this all out.

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Smart Ideas: E-Learning, Airline Boarding Passes, and User Experience Design

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Part of my job is to meet with customers who have recently adopted the Convergence learning management system (LMS) and want some face-to-face instruction on how to use it in the most efficient manner at their work place. As a result, I do a good deal of flying.

And while I’m flying, I’m often confused when scanning my boarding passes. It’s hard to find the information I’m looking for—what is my flight number, when does my plane leave, and what gate do I need to get to? You’d think finding that information would be simple enough, but it’s not.

Well, apparently I’m not the only one who gets confused by this. NPR’s All Tech Considered blog recently ran an article about British designer Pete Smart (good name for this guy) who felt the same way. Except, unlike me, Pete Smart did something about it. He created a new design for boarding passes that’s brilliant. It’s easy to read, the information is clearly displayed in logical places and in larger fonts, and it’s even oriented in the proper direction based on the assumption that you dual-purpose your boarding pass as a book mark. Again—brilliant! (Or maybe I should say “smart!”)

These are tips you can use when designing your own elearning courses and other training materials, and most of this falls under the category of visual hierarchy. We’ll share some of those tips in the article below, and we hope you find them helpful when you’re creating your own training materials.

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Teaching Attitudes: The Affective Domain of Learning and Learning Objectives

Instructional Design Basics

[This is the eighth in a series of posts about learning objectives. We’ve now compiled all the posts into a single downloadable guide to writing learning objectives if you want to check that out.]

As we mentioned in a previous post, there are three different kinds of learning: learning about things you can “know,” learning about things you can “do,” and learning about things you “feel.” We will refer to these as knowledge, skills, and attitudes, or “KSAs” for short.

In this post, we’re going to consider the “attitudes” domain more closely. The information below is based on the theories of Krathwohl, Bloom, and Masia (1973), and it relies greatly on explanations of those theories that appear Don Clark’s well known “Big Dog Little Dog” instructional design blog. Check out Clark’s material on learning domains to read more about this and to learn about alternate versions of this hierarchy and other learning hierarchies.

You can use this information to create a more effective workforce training program.

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Making Sure Your Training is Effective-Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation

Instructional Design Basics

Companies pour a lot of money into training. And of course, they hope that money is well spent.

That would mean that the training worked, in casual terms. Or, to be more specific, that employees learned things, developed new skills, and changed their behaviors at work, and those changed behaviors ultimately contributed to progress toward a business goal, such as increased workplace safety, higher production efficiency, increased sales revenue, lower total costs, the roll-out of a new product, or similar goals.

But exactly how do you know if your training was effective?

To figure this out, Donald Kirkpatrick came up with something now called Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation. There are other methods to do this, but Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels are a widely used method. They became very popular after he published his book Evaluating Training Programs in 1994.

We’ll learn more about the four-level Kirkpatrick evaluation in this article.

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How to Use Leading & Lagging Indicators to Evaluate Workplace Safety–PLUS Safety Differently

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Every company we work with says that safety is job one, safety is the most important thing, there’s no work goal that’s worth sacrificing safety, or something like that. And they’re sincere.

To that end, they come to us for help improving their safety training programs, using our 3D-animated online safety training materials, our best-in-class learning management systems for use in industrial and manufacturing companies, or even our mobile safety training and work-support solutions.

One top of that, of course, they’ve got multi-tiered safety efforts at work. They may have a safety management system; they’re using the hierarchy of controls and they’re performing proper job hazard analyses. They hold regular safety meetings, they track safety incidents and near misses, and they perform incident investigations.

So there’s a lot of serious effort going into safety and safety training.

But how do you KNOW that you’ve got a safe workplace? For many, the answer is to look at the incident rate. The goal is always zero incidents; a decreasing incident rate is a good sign, and an increasing incident rate a bad one.

But that’s not enough. There’s more to safety than just your incident rate, right? So a lot of safety people talk about leading and lagging indicators of safety.

What does that mean? Well, let’s take a step back and look at the terms leading and lagging first. Leading indicators are things that occur before an incident could occur, and lagging indicators are things that happened after an event occurred. Leading is before; lagging after. It’s the same use of the terms that you hear when people on the news are discussing economics.

That’s the new, updated, traditional safety logic. But we’re also throwing in some additional thoughts about an even newer concept called Safety Differently, which turns some of this stuff on its head as well (especially the stuff about lagging indicators). So we hope you find this article thought provoking in a safety kind of way.

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Teaching Skills: The Psychomotor Domain of Learning and Learning Objectives

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[This is the the seventh in a series of posts about learning objectives. We’ve now compiled all the posts into a single downloadable guide to writing learning objectives if you want to check that out.]

As we mentioned in an earlier post, Bloom believed there are three different kinds of learning: learning about things you can “know,” learning about things you can “do,” and learning about things you “feel.” We will refer to these as knowledge, skills, and attitudes, or “KSAs” for short.

In this post, we’re going to consider the “skills” domain more closely, looking at six different levels of skill. The information below is based on the theories of R.H. Dave (1975), and draws from explanations of those theories that appear at Don Clark’s well-known “Big Dog Little Dog” instructional design blog. Check out Clark’s material on learning domains to read more about this hierarchy and to learn about alternate versions of this hierarchy by Simpson and Harrow if you’re interested. I’ve written about Dave’s hierarchy because it’s the one that seems most useful to me, but the others are also popular, well-known, and well-regarded.

This information can help you create a more effective workforce training program.

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Brrr…The Polar Vortex Is Upon Us. Here Are Some Cold Weather Safety Tips

Baby, it’s cold outside. (I like that version, don’t you?)

In fact, much of the US is being revisited by something we seem to hear more about in recent years: a polar vortex.

As you’ve probably heard on this news, the low temps associated with the polar vortex are dangerous and even deadly. As a result, we thought we’d use the opportunity to drop some quick links to helpful information on you. Check ’em out below and stay warm and safe.

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Common Question: Do You Need an Authoring Tool Like Articulate or Captivate to Use the Convergence LMS? Answer: No

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One of the questions that our new learning management system (LMS) customers frequently ask us is whether or not they NEED to use e-learning authoring tools like Articulate Studio/Storyline, Adobe Captivate, or others in order to use our LMS.

Another related question they commonly ask is “What’s an e-learning authoring tool anyway?”

So we thought a little post to clear all this up would be helpful. The brief answer to the first question is NO. You can use the Convergence LMS perfectly well without an authoring tool. The information below will explain that more fully. And as for the second question, if you don’t yet know what an e-learning authoring tool is, read on.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider. We make off-the-shelf e-learning courses, several learning management systems (LMSs), custom training solutions, and more. Contact us to see full-length course previews, set up an LMS demo, or just ask a few questions.

And since you’re here, why not download one of our free guides as well:

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Free Interactive Glossary of Corrugated Board Terms

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Are you in the corrugated board industry?

If so, you might find this free, downloadable, interactive glossary of terms used in the corrugated board industry interesting and valuable.

We’ve drawn all the images and definitions from our series of e-learning courses for corrugated manufacturers, which you might want to check out–it’s a cool series of courses, assuming you’re into corrugated. Which we assume you are, since you’re reading this post.

We hope you enjoy this and put it to good use.

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NSC’s 10 Preventable Workplace Incidents (And Suggested Safety Training Courses for Each)

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The National Safety Council (NSC) has a list of the Top Ten Preventable Workplace Incidents on their website. According to them, the items on the list are the “ten most reported workmen’s compensation injuries as listed by top insurance companies throughout the country.”

Since we’re all interested in preventing workplace incidents and injuries, we thought it would be helpful to provide the list below and include some suggested workplace safety training courses for each item.

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How Video Can Help Us Learn: A Fun Example

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Every so often, when we see some effective training material during our daily lives outside the office, or when we see something that explains things nicely, we like to share it here.

Some years ago, we found the video below from a story on the National Public Radio (NPR) website about an informational video that explained a physical process. The video was created by a college student named Dan Quinn. Mr. Quinn has a YouTube channel where he publishes videos he creates, and one is a really interesting piece on why wine “cries” in a glass.

We decided to write more about that video for our “things from everyday life that related to job training” series below.

For more articles in this series, check out this article on visual design and airline tickets and this article on humor in pre-flight safety videos.

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Teaching “Knowledge”: The Cognitive Domain of Learning and Learning Objectives

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[This is the the fifth in a series of posts about learning objectives. We’ve now compiled all the posts into a single downloadable guide to writing learning objectives if you want to check that out.]

As we mentioned in the last post about learning objectives, you can think about three different kinds of learning: learning about things you can “know,” learning about things you can “do,” and learning about things you “feel.” These are called the Cognitive domain, the Psychomotor domain, and the Affective domain. Because we try to avoid $25 words here at the Convergence Training blog, we will also refer to them as Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes. But we didn’t make that up–it’s a somewhat common way to think of this, and trainers often call these “KSAs” for short.

In this post, we’re going to consider the “knowledge” domain of learning more closely–things you can know. We’ll find that there are actually six different levels of knowledge, from simplest to most complex, and we will give a list of behaviors that learners must perform to show they’ve mastered each type of knowledge. This will help you pick the verb you’ll use when writing learning objectives dealing with knowledge. We’ll look at the Skills and Attitudes domains in following posts.

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