How to Write Multiple-Choice Questions for Workforce Training

writing-mc-test-questions-for-online-training-activities-imageA lot of you write test questions for online training. Or even paper-based tests you’re still delivering the old-fashioned way (good on you!).

Maybe you’re doing it with an eLearning authoring tool, such as the ones from Articulate, Adobe, or Lectora.  Or maybe the learning management system (LMS) you use at work has a built in tool for creating online quizzes.

No matter how you’re writing tests for training, you may sometimes find yourself wondering about the best practices for writing standard question types. (By the way, instructional designers often use the wonky phrases “assessment” for a test and “assessment item” for a question within a test.)

We’ve got a few of those best practices for you below. Hope this helps you with your question writin’. 🙂
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How to Create Your Own Safety Training e-Learning Course-Recorded Webinar

Create Your Own Online Safety Training eLearning Course Image

Ever wish you could create your own safety training eLearning course that fits your particular training needs and is based on your own site-specific information?

You can, and this recorded webinar (below) shows you how. The webinar runs almost exactly an hour, and you can listen any time.

Once you know how to do this, you can make your own eLearning course anytime you want. Maybe even combine it with some off-the-shelf safety training eLearning courses for a nice blend of generic and custom, site-specific safety training eLearning at your workplace.

If you’d prefer the same information in a different format, we’ve got the same information in a written blog post including lots of helpful screen grabs. Or hey, you can check ’em both out! Why not?

Note: This webinar shows how to use an authoring tool created by Articulate. Many companies make similar authoring tools, and the tool used below isn’t the most recent created by Articulate. That point isn’t too important, though–the main idea is to show you the general idea of how to make your own online safety training course and show how relatively easy it can be.

Also, there’s a free Guide to Effective EHS Training below the webinar that you’re free to download if you’d like.
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10 Key Benefits of Online Safety Training

10 Benefits of Online Safety Training ImageWe believe the best way to provide safety training to your workers is to use a blended learning solution, mixing and matching the different types of training (instructor-led, field-based OJT, video, e-learning, written materials, social learning, webinars, etc.).

And that’s no surprise, since we write about it a lot, but also since it’s recommended by ASSE/ANSI z490.1, the US national standard for EHS training; by the noted learning researchers Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark (in her book Evidence-Based Training Methods) and by Dr. Will Thalheimer (in his Does eLearning Work? white paper); and by the US Department of Education, in their Evaluating Online Learning study.

But it’s also true that within a blended learning solution, when you select the type of training to use for each training need, you shouldn’t select randomly. Instead, you’ll want to look at the benefits and downsides of each training type, and try to find a match between training type and training need.

With that in mind, here’s a quick list of some advantages of online safety training. We’ve got 10 items on the list, and have given one or more examples or case study for each.

Hope you find some food for thought here.
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Free Manufacturing Training Webinar–Recorded

Manufacturing Training Recorded Webinar Image

We held a webinar that explained how to make “Manufacturing Training that Works” not all that long ago. If you missed that webinar, you can view a recorded version of it right here time you wish. The webinar runs 40 minutes even.

You can watch and listen to our free, recorded Manufacturing Training that Works webinar at our Webinars page.

Plus, we’ve got more great resources related to manufacturing training for you below as well.
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Blended Learning for Manufacturing Training

Blended Learning for Manufacturing Training Image

You can’t train a manufacturing workforce using just one “type” of training–just field-based OJT, just written materials, just instructor-led classroom-style training, just e-learning, etc.

Well, you can. But you won’t get the most effective training, and you won’t create a cost-effective training program. So you don’t want to.

Instead, it’s best to use a “blended learning” solution that mixes and matches different types of training. In fact, this recent and well-respected study suggests that blended learning solutions tend to lead to best learning results.

In this article, we’ll give a few reasons why you should consider a blended learning solution for your workers; give you some tips for creating the right blend to help workers acquire basic knowledge, develop skills and learn procedures, and develop advanced job skills that really create value for your company; and show you some tools and techniques for making this all happen smoothly.
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Training Manufacturing Workers for Next Job in Line of Progression

training-manufacturing-workers-for-next-job-inline-of-progressionAt many manufacturing companies, employees enter the workforce in a role reserved for new hires, then work their way through an organized line of progression from their first job to the next job and so on throughout their careers.

As a result, it’s helpful to have a plan in place, and some tools to use, to help train workers at each position and better prepare them for success at each new job during their career with your organization.

In this post, we’ll give some tips and introduce some tools you can use to improve the line of progression training at your facility and make administering it more efficient.

By the time you’re done reading, you should have enough information to help you deliver (a) more effective training to your employees in each job position, (b) at a lower cost, and all while (c) spending less time administering the training. You’ll be better prepared to move new employees from one position to the next in their line of progression, and as a bonus you’ll find some tools to help you cross-train employees so they can fill multiple job roles if necessary.

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Using Scenario-based Training for Workforce Learning & Development

using-scenario-based-training imageIf you read current literature on training, one of the things you’ll read about a lot is scenario-based training. This goes by other names, too, including immersive learning and problem-based learning. For this article, we’re going to stick with scenario-based training.

No matter what you call it, there’s a reason why people talk about it a lot. Because it’s an effective way to learn. Within the context of job training, scenario-based training has a couple big advantages. These include:

  • Creating training that more directly matches true performances expected of the employee on the job
  • Making compliance training more active, fun, engaging, and effective
  • Reducing the amount of time it takes for an employee to develop expertise in his or her job (moving employee  from basic, foundational job knowledge and skills to advanced skills that create value for the company more quickly and efficiently)
  • Providing a safe learning environment in which employees can practice and learn from mistakes without harming themselves, machines, or business goals

This article will at least touch on all four of those points. But we’re going to primarily focus on how scenario-based training can reduce the amount of time it takes for an employee to develop advanced job skills and become an expert in his or her field, something everyone wants.

Along the way, we’re going to be focusing our lessons from a book by Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark. And we’ll also provide some examples and helpful resources from other influential writers on workforce L&D, including Anna Sabramowicz, Cathy Moore, and Christy Tucker. Hats off to all of them, and please do check out their work and articles (in particular, this interview we had with Anna Sabramowicz about using Storytelling & Scenarios in Job Training).

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Onboarding New Employees: Why and How to Do It

onboarding-new-employeesWhat do you do when a new employee is hired? Do you have a process for onboarding new employees?

Some organizations have no real plan for managing this process at all. Whatever happens, happens, and it varies from one new employee to the next based on a variety of circumstances.

Other organizations have some minimal preparations in place. The person gets a desk, computer, and phone, or the proper tools and safety equipment, and gets to fill out his or her benefit paperwork.

But high-performing organizations have a consistent, well-thought out new employee onboarding process in place. We’ll show you what that involves below. There’s even a checklist at the bottom for you.

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The Past, Present, and Future of Manufacturing Training

past-present-future-of-manufacturing-trainingTraining within manufacturing organizations has undergone a lot of changes over time, and there are plenty more changes coming.

In fact, even if you’re not aware of it, changes are happening right now. And the infrastructure that will lead to even more changes is coming soon.

If this seems interesting to you–and if you’re in manufacturing training, it should, because it directly affects your present and future realities–you may find the quick overview below of interest.

This is also a great post for including your own thoughts at the bottom, since so much of the future is speculative. Please share your own experiences and thoughts and let us learn from you.

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Determining Training ROI: Isolating the Effects of Your Training Program

Isolating the Effects of Training Programs on Business Goals ImageIn some recent articles, we’ve been looking at issues related to determining if your training program is having a desired positive effect, determining how big of a positive effect it’s having, and communicating that information internally within the training department but also externally with others in your workplace.

For example, we discussed the importance of aligning training with business goals, gave an overview of the commonly used Kirkpatrick evaluation model, and in our last article that touched on these issues, we looked at a way to evaluate the movement of a key performance indicator (KPI) after a training program was held.

In that same article, we also noted that although it’s great if you initiate a training program and see a KPI (or several KPIs) that the program is intended to effect respond in a positive manner, that’s not the whole story. Because there are other factors that may have influenced that KPI at the same time. And if that’s the case, who’s to say that the newly implemented training program truly deserves all the credit? Or how much of the credit it does deserve? Or even if it deserves any credit for the improved KPI?

And that introduction leads us straight to the point of this article. Today, we’re going to explain a few methods of “isolating the effects of your training program.” What this means is determining how much of that desired increase in the KPI your training program was responsible for–if any.

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Big Data and Big Learning Data

big data and big learning data imageIf you live in today’s world, read the papers, listen to the radio, or (more to the point) get on the Internet, you’ve heard the phrase: BIG DATA. And maybe you’ve heard of BIG LEARNING DATA too.

We know big data is about data, and we know if we consult our friends at Merriam-Webster, they’ll tell us that in general terms, data is “facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something,” and in terms that are more specifically relevant to this article, data is “information that is produced or stored by a computer” (bonus points if you happened to know that “data” is the plural version of “datum,” grammar junkie).

And of course, we know that the word “big” placed before “data” means there’s a LOT of data. It doesn’t really matter exactly how much data you’re talking about. It’s enough data that it’s hard to manage, analyze, and make sense of with common software applications (read: Excel spreadsheets).

But how much do you know about big data? And in particular, how much do you know about how it’s being used and will be used at your workplace, and how it will be used in your training programs and your learning & development programs?

If you’re a little fuzzy on all of this yourself, take a few minutes to read this article. It may provide a few “a-ha” moments, give you an insight or two, and help you better prepare for the big data revolution we’re told is coming soon.

We’d also very much value your own insights, thoughts, predictions, opinions, and comments in the comments field at the end of this article.

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How to Measure the Impact of Training on Business Goals and KPIs

Measure Impact of Training on Business KPI Image

You can train people all you want, but it’s nice to know if the training is working. More specifically, is it helping your company reach a business goal?

Actually, that’s not just nice. It’s something that’s very important to know. Otherwise, you may be just wasting time and money. And you may even be without a job soon if you can’t prove this.

Luckily, you can use training data from your learning management system (LMS), along with other KPI data (for example, KPIs about operations or safety), to create a compelling visual display of the positive effects of your training program. And as you know, a picture is worth a thousand words.

We’re going to give you a couple of quick examples of how to do just that in the post below.

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