How to Chunk Training Materials

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If you want to know how to create more effective training materials, you need to know how to chunk training materials. And YES, chunking is the accepted term in the field, even if it does sound a bit strange.

Chunking is the process of breaking down instructional materials into smaller, “bite-sized” pieces and then arranging them in a sequence that makes it easier for your learners to learn the material.

In this post, we’ll:

  • Explain the four steps necessary for a person to remember something
  • Explain why limits of the working memory cause us to use chunking
  • Explain what chunking is
  • Give tips for chunk length for novice and expert learners
  • Give tips for organizing the chunks in your training materials
  • Provide some sources and useful resources for chunking

But, before we do all that, we’re going to take a step back and explain why you should care about this.

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Better Safety Training with an LMS and Online Safety Training Courses

Better Safety Training with LMS and Online Safety Training Courses Image

I work with a lot of busy safety managers who are trying to improve their safety training programs. They’re typically looking for ways to use their time more efficiently while creating better training programs that have a real effect on their employees’ behaviors.

They hope they can reach these goals by using one of our learning management systems (LMSs) , or some of our 3D-animated online safety training courses, or both. And it’s true, they can.

Using an LMS and e-learning courses can save you time and also let you provide better safety training. But how? Well, some of the way are probably pretty obvious to you, and others may be things you haven’t thought of. Let’s break it down and consider some reasons.
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How to Develop Technical Training (Tips from Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark)

developing technical training book imageWe help a lot of our customers develop technical training for their workers–primarily for jobs in manufacturing and industry.

And in addition, we also lead a lot of technical training to teach customers to use one or more of our learning management systems.

And so we wanted to check out this book by the very well-known and highly credible Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark: Developing Technical Training: A Structured Approach for Developing Classroom and Computer-Based Instructional Materials.

We like her books for many reasons, but two of the most important are that they tend to be comprehensive and they are backed with research to determine if training techniques are effective or not.

We recommend you read this book if you’re interested in developing some technical training materials. But, if you’d like to get an idea of what the book’s about, we’ve written an overview below.

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Create Your Own Safety Training With Articulate Studio

Create Safety Training With Articulate Image(Since writing this post, we also used it as a basis for webinar. You can view a demonstration of the steps written below by watching our How to Create Custom Safety Training webinar, or simply read on if you prefer reading.)

For many companies with safety training needs, off-the-shelf e-learning courses like the ones we make here at Convergence Training are a great option. They provide affordable access to quality training on common safety topics. However, every work environment is different, with unique health and safety hazards, and one-size-fits-all training can’t meet 100% of your EHS needs 100% of the time.

If you rely on a learning management system to help you deliver your training, it can help to have some experience creating your own e-learning courses. There are some really simple tools out there that let you create your own, complete with interactivity and quizzes, to help you fill in any gaps in your EHS training library.

In this post, we’ll show you how you can create safety training with an e-learning authoring tool called Articulate Studio. When we’re done, you will have made an e-learning course that teaches crane operators to identify crane hand signals. The course will include a simple interactive slide show and a quiz. And then you can apply the process to create safety training materials of your own on any topic you wish.

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Better Mining Safety Training Visuals for New Miners: Using Visuals to Increase Learning

Mining Safety Training Better Visuals Image

Want your newly hired miners to really remember their training? Need to train a worker to perform a new task, such as operating a dozer, and later know how to perform that task in the field? Want to find a way to speed-up that process of remembering and learning?

If so, this post is for you, my friend.

Getting a newly hired miner up to speed on all of the critical aspects of mining and mining safety is a tough job. If you’re a safety manager in charge of safety training at a mine site, you already know this.

But what should you do about it? One of the smartest things you can do is to use training methods that are PROVEN to work better with learners who are new to the content area. In this case, that means new to safety issues related to working at your mine, and/or related to working a specific task at your mine site.

We’ll be writing a series of articles explaining different techniques for getting these “novice learners” up to speed in the coming weeks. In this post, we’ll look at one of the most effective: using visuals in your mining training.

And hey, don’t forget to download the Free Guide to MSHA Training Requirements at the bottom of this article. 

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Better Safety Training for New Employees: Using Visuals

better safety training for new employeesNeed to train a worker with no job experience in your industry about all the safety hazards at your site before they can begin working? Or maybe you have to get a new employee acquainted with the safe work practices of a new position he or she just moved into? If so, read on–this post is for you.

Training a newly hired employee about all the critical safety aspects of a job is  tough work. If you’re a safety manager in charge of safety training, we’re not telling you anything you don’t already know.

But what can you do to make your safety training better? One of the smartest things you can do is to use training methods that are proven to work better with learners who are new to the content area. In your case, that means they’re new to safety issues related to working at your site, and/or safety issues related to working a specific job.

We’ll be writing a series of articles explaining different techniques for getting these “novice learners” up to speed in the coming weeks. In this post, we’ll look at one of the most effective: using visuals in your training.

Contact Convergence Training now for help with your safety training, or check out our learning management systems and safety training e-learning courses.

While you’re here, you may want to download this free Guide to Effective EHS Training, too.

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Graphic Design Tips for eLearning: 25 Fundamental Techniques

graphic design techniques for elearning imageLooking for something you can do to create more effective learning experiences for your workers? Experiences in which the workers really learn and then transfer that learning to the workplace? We all are, right?

One of the easiest things you can do to help your workers learn is to create better training visuals that are well-conceived and designed. In fact, research shows that you can use better training visuals to dramatically increase your learner’s comprehension, retention, and transfer of behaviors to the workplace—and that’s especially true for “novice” learners who are new to a particular content area.

Want to know why this is true?  Want to learn some techniques to help you learn how to design great training materials? Sure you do! Just keep reading (and looking at the example visuals, of course) to learn more. We’ve got some great graphic design tips for elearning for you below–for any type of training, really.

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The Benefits of Optional, Elective-Based Training At the Workplace

If you administer a learning management system (LMS) at your workplace, or even if you’re just thinking about getting one, you may be focused on mandatory training assignments.

And that makes sense. There’s a lot of training that you’ll want to be 100% sure your employees complete: job-based training about their current position at your workplace, mandatory safety and compliance training — You can probably add more items to the list yourself.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider. We make a series of learning management systems, many libraries of e-learning courses for workforce training, apps for mobile learning and performance support, and more. Contact us to ask some questions and set up a demo. 

You may also be interested in the free guides below:

But What About Elective Training?

With all that focus on mandatory training assignments, it can be easy to lose track of the value of making elective training available on an optional basis. What are some reasons to make optional elective training available to your workers, you ask? We’ll list a few below.

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Choosing an LMS: How to Get it Right the First Time

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Wondering what  to consider when choosing a learning management system, or LMS?  If so, you’re in good company.

Many companies realize that an LMS can help their workforce training program, but they have no solid ideas of what to look for, how to evaluate the LMS itself, or how to evaluate the LMS provider.

Adopting an LMS is a big decision, and not one to rush into. Even with time and caution, it’s a tough process to choose the right one. And choosing a poor one can really set you back, wasting time, money, and momentum.

To make the process easier, and help steer you in better directions, we’ve created a free downloadable guide to lead you through the LMS decision process. It’s at the bottom of this article.

Here are the topics we’ll cover in this article and that we’ll cover in more detail in the free guide at the bottom:

  1. Identify and consult with LMS stakeholders
  2. Determine business needs for LMS
  3. Where to get your LMS: Open source, build-your-own, or buy?
  4. Evaluate the LMS
  5. General functionality of the LMS
  6. Important features of the LMS

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Closing the Skills Gap with Structured On-The-Job Training (OJT)

closing-the-skills-gapI spend a lot of time working with new customers in the manufacturing sector who are just beginning to use our Convergence learning management system (LMS) at their workplace as they try to close a skill gap at work.

At many of these businesses, a large part of the workforce is older and nearing retirement. These older workers are very experienced and have a lot of knowledge about the processes, procedures, and machines in their workplace. Unfortunately, that information is typically just “in their heads” — it’s rarely written down, documented, or recorded in any way.

As these more experienced workers retire, the manufacturing companies are scrambling to hire newer, younger workers to take their place. These workers are ambitious and work hard, but they know only a fraction of the stuff they need to know to operate as effectively as the more experienced workers they’ll need to replace soon.

Naturally, our customers want to facilitate the transfer of critical knowledge and skills to these new workers. Ideally, they can get the new hires up to speed quickly, and they can capture that critical knowledge before the more experienced workers retire.

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eLearning or DVD – What’s Better for Workforce Training?

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Still using DVDs to deliver video-based training? You’re not alone; we get a lot of requests DVDs. For some people, it really is the most appropriate way for them to deliver training to their employees. But other people choose DVDs because it’s what they know and because they don’t yet understand the advantages of e-learning courses delivered online through a learning management system (LMS).

Both DVDs and e-learning courses are essentially “video-based” training, but after that there are many significant differences. We’re often asked if it’s better to use eLearning or DVDs in a training program. At times, people who currently use DVDs ask us “why should I invest in eLearning at all?”

There are a number of reasons, really. We’ll try and address a few of them and help you decide if e-learning courses are right for your training program.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider. We make workforce training courses in both DVD and e-learning formats, and also make learning management systems (LMSs) and custom training solutions. Contact us to learn more.

While you’re here, download our free Guide to Effective Manufacturing Training, free Guide to Effective EHS Training, free Guide to Online MSHA Training, and/or free Guide to Writing Learning Objectives.

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Better Training Through Better Visuals: Using “Special Views”

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We have been writing a series of posts over at the OpenSesame blog about how to design visuals within training materials to help your learners learn more effectively. The series has included posts on the following graphic techniques:

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